The head-turning Superleggera Vision concept Mini unveiled in 2014 will remain a one-off model, but the BMW-owned company affirmed it still has its sights set on a standalone, range-topping sports car. It's understandably not a priority, and there's a chance it won't arrive with a turbo four if it receives the green light for production.
Mini's current flagship is the limited-edition John Cooper Works GP, a 301-horsepower hot hatch that sounds as angry as it looks. It's based on the Hardtop, but there's space in the Mini range for an even more hardcore sports car that's not built on an existing architecture. Andreas Lampka, the head of the company's communications department, shared what's on his team's wish list while talking to Australian website Motoring.
"If we give our engineers some more spare [time and resources], they'll come up with a mid-engined car," he explained. If launched, it would stand out as the first series-produced mid-engined model in the Mini's 61-year history; every single Mini-badged car built has been front-wheel drive, and we doubt engineers are giving the mid-engined layout a lustful look just to channel the power back to the front wheels. It'd likely be rear-wheel drive.
Lampka suggested a range-topping sports car could arrive with an electric powertrain, like the Superleggera Vision (pictured), rather than with an evolution of a gasoline-powered engine currently found in the company's arsenal. While a head-spinning, instant torque-fueled zero-to-60-mph time is difficult to argue against, the executive didn't explain how engineers will offset the weight added by the battery pack. It's too early to provide concrete details. Though this is pure speculation, it could share parts with future electrified JCW models.
Similarly, there's no word on when we might see Mini's halo model. The company has more pressing issues to solve; global sales fell by 4.1% in 2019, and executives recently confirmed they've delayed the next-generation Hardtop. If the model does arrive, we don't expect to see it until about halfway through the 2020s at the earliest.