Sad news in the Mini world today: it seems that some reporters, or at least their anonymous inside sources, jumped the gun a bit when it comes to the Mini Superleggera Roadster. It's not confirmed yet, and a smaller Mini is now unlikely to happen.
That comes direct from Peter Schwarzenbauer, the BMW board member who oversees Mini, Rolls-Royce and the motorcycle division. Earlier this week the UK's Car magazine reported the Superleggera Roadster was confirmed for 2018 production, citing an unnamed source.
Not so, or at least not yet, Schwarzenbauer told Automotive News:
Schwarzenbauer, BMW's board member in charge of Mini, said the Superleggera would be a "great addition to the Mini range" but added: "I cannot confirm that it has been approved yet."
Schwarzenbauer said he is "still pushing" to get the production model approved. He has been a big fan of the Superleggera since its unveiling last May at the Villa d'Este concourse d'elegance near Como, Italy.
That's a real downer, but at least it sounds like Schwarzenbauer wants the car to happen. And why wouldn't he? Mini would be foolish to throw away such a great design, even if the production version is unlikely to have the concept's all-wheel drive electric hybrid system.
So the Superleggera may still happen, but Schwarzenbauer also delivered this piece of sad news:
Asked about a new entry-level Mini, he said: "I don't see a smaller car than the current one."
Word within the company has been that Mini and Toyota were collaborating on a city car smaller than the current R56 Mini Cooper, which grew in size from the previous generation. Some said it would have been called the Mini Minor, and it would have been positioned as a cheaper entry-level car.
That's a shame. The new Mini is quite good, but a lot of fans (raises hand) are disappointed it grew in size and were looking forward to the possibility of a smaller car.
Maybe we can still hold out hope for the Superleggera Roadster.
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