Production Version of the MINI Superleggera Roadster Concept Coming in 2019

MINI Superleggera Concept 1 photo
Photo: autoevolution
A new report from the British media (where else) is now claiming that the MINI brand will have a replacement model for the recently canned Roadster by 2019. The info is a bit shady, as it usually is the case when Autocar is involved and we'll tell you why.
According to them, some MINI insiders told them that the response to the Superleggera Roadster concept was overwhelming. So far so good, nothing to object there. However, the same 'sources' claim that this will be the missing piece of the puzzle that pictures the MINI brand's future.

Peter Schwarzenbauer, the current CEO, said in a statement that the company he runs will focus on five core cars in the future. So far, we know four of them: the hardtop (hatchback), Convertible, Countryman and Clubman. That leaves one possible future model in the works, but we don't know which one it will be.

There are currently two possible cars being mulled over, both based on concepts: a Roadster based on the Superleggera and a city car based on the Rocketman.

The news of MINI deciding to build the Roadster makes no sense whatsoever then. Why would the Brits pull the current Roadster out of production, claiming that its sales figures were far too small to justify keeping it just to replace it with another one?

Furthermore, according to Autocar itself, the car would be front-wheel drive and that's definitely not the recipe for success in this segment where the RWD Miata dominates.

Last, but not least, Schwarzenbauer said that the five core models of the MINI brand should hold true to the company's value. That means they should encompass what it stands for and what's better for that than an ultra-small city car?

Other than that, the same source claims that the production model will, of course, be based on the UKL platform and will be available with plug-in hybrid versions similar to those from the 2 Series Active Tourer.

That means they would be using a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder turbocharged plant up front combined with an electric motor for the rear axle. Together they'd be good for around 218 HP and 210 lb-ft (285 Nm) of torque and would allow the car to travel in EV mode at speeds as high as 50 mph (80 km/h) and with a range of 20 miles (30 km).
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