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Mini’s retro-styled Superleggera roadster appears closer than ever to a showroom debut, with new reports pointing to an early 2019 debut.

Revealed as a concept at last year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy, the Superleggera was developed in partnership with a well-known styling house of the same name: Touring Superleggera.

The compact roadster concept has polarised fans since its unveiling, but frequent and consistent reports of a market launch persist – despite lacklustre sales of the now retired Mini Roadster.

Mini Superleggera Vision rear

Talk in June was that the Superleggera had received a hugely positive response from within BMW, the British brand’s parent company, suggesting that a green light for production would not be far away.

This week, Mini boss Peter Schwarzenbauer has told the UK’s Autocar the Superleggera has become a significant focus point for the brand as a new halo model.

“The interest was tremendous when we showed this concept car. We are now working hard to get it on the street,” he said.

“It’s an economically challenging project and there is no firm decision, but we have a lot of people here that are fighting for it. I think it would be extremely good for the brand.”

Mini-Superleggera-Vision-Concept-2

Schwarzenbauer also confirmed long-held suspicions that any production Superleggera would be built on the same front-wheel-drive platform that underpins the wider Mini range.

For some, that would immediately scratch the Superleggera as a direct rival to Mazda’s iconic MX-5, but with a range of 1.5 and 2.0 litre turbocharged petrol engines on the potential powertrain list, Mini’s new roadster could still prove successful.

More: Mini Cooper S Roadster review




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