MINI 5-door Hardtop Premieres at LA Auto Show, Superleggera Steals the Show

MINI kept its promise and brought a North American debut at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show in the shape of the 5-door hatchback or 4-door hardtop as it is called in the US. However, it wasn’t that car that drew the most attention but the MINI Superleggera Vision Concept.
MINI Superleggera Vision Concept at LAAS 7 photos
MINI Superleggera Vision Concept at 2014 Los Angeles Auto ShowMINI Superleggera Vision Concept at 2014 Los Angeles Auto ShowMINI Superleggera Vision Concept at 2014 Los Angeles Auto ShowMINI Superleggera Vision Concept at 2014 Los Angeles Auto ShowMINI Superleggera Vision Concept at 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show2015 MINI 4-door Hardtop Cooper S at 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show
The surprise was even bigger as the car was previously put up for display on the North American continent and, therefore, the US customers had the chance to see it before. I guess it’s all in that fancy bodywork and the new age look, right?

Getting back to the North American debut of the 4-door hardtop MINI, we should point out that it comes just to bring a taste of what the brand wants to do in the future: offer more possibilities

The new model is 16 cm (6.3 inches) longer and therefore offers more legroom and headroom in the back as well as an easier access (thanks to those tiny rear doors). It also has a wheelbase that’s 3 inches longer (7.5 cm) and changes the way the car drives.

The new MINI Hardtop 4 Door gives us an opportunity to offer a functional car with all the classic MINI proportions and legendary go-kart handling of the MINI Hardtop 2 Door,” said Patrick McKenna, Head of MINI Product Planning and Events, MINI USA.

“It will appeal to people who want the added flexibility and convenience of four doors and five seats while enjoying the smaller footprint of a premium small car,” he added.

Being built on the same UKL platform, the exact same engines are going to be used for the 4-door version. The US line-up will be made up of 3-cylinder and 4-cylinder plants in the Cooper or Cooper S variants. Pricing for the longer model will be exactly $1,000 more than for the 2-door alternative, for both the entry-level and upper spec versions.

That means the Cooper will start at $21,700 while the Cooper S will ask at least $25,100. Deliveries will begin in January 2015.

As for the MINI Superleggera Vision Concept, we should mention that it’s still being discussed in higher management circles and the British company is looking to put it in production in one way or another.

Being built with the help of Italian coach builders, Touring Superleggera, the concept combines the tradition of classic coachwork construction with British design. It’s an Italian-British hybrid if you will. But it’s a hybrid only from the design point of view. Under the sculpted bonnet lies an electric motor as the roadster wants to be as eco-friendly as possible.

“The MINI Superleggera Vision creates a unique emotional beauty in combining the past and future of the automotive industry – traditional coachwork craftsmanship and modern design styling,” said Anders Warming, Head of MINI Design.

“It’s energetic, minimalistic design perpetuates what the classic Mini started 55 years ago - reduction to the essentials,” he added. We kindly agree and, hopefully, we’ll see some of the design cues being used in other MINI models later on.
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