IT’S time to remember Mini’s sleek Superleggera concept, because in 2018 it could be on Aussie roads.
Mini Australia says the Superleggera – previewed at the Villa d’Este concours in Italy last year – has the potential to be a big seller Down Under given our insatiable appetite for performance models, should the two-seat roadster enter production in 2018 as expected.
“A Superleggera would make sense for Australia,” Mini Australia general manager Kai Bruesewitz said. “It’s a fantastic looking car and has received very positive reviews, but it just depends on our volume expectations.”
While Mini is yet to officially confirm the Superleggera will enter production, media outlets in Europe have reported it’s slated to enter production in 2018 and be powered by a range of three- and four-cylinder engines.
It’s understood the Superleggera will become the fifth model in Mini’s new, streamlined range that also includes the regular hatch (three and five doors), Clubman, Cabriolet and Countryman.
“It hasn’t been confirmed what the fifth model will be, but the Superleggera is the car most mentioned,” Bruesewitz said.
The Mini Oz boss is confident that the recent decision to cull its underperforming models – the Coupe, Roadster and possibly Paceman – will actually boost sales.
“We’re the fastest-growing mature Mini market in the world, which shows that we’re on the right track,” he said Bruesewitz.
“This is a big change in strategy for us, and makes more sense for the consumer because our cars will now be more identifiable.
“We dropped the Coupe and Roadster simply because they haven’t fulfilled our expectations and we decided to concentrate on a smaller number of models.”
Mini is also the fastest-growing volume brand in Australia this year, sales having increased 59 percent in the first half. Only luxury makes Porsche, Ferrari and Maserati have higher growth rates.
“The 59 percent growth figures are slightly skewed, because of the excellent sales of the new three- and five-door hatch, but we still expect to be 20-30 percent up [for the full year],” Bruesewitz said.
“All of this matches a change in our identity, with a new logo and attitude. We will still be easily distinguished, but we’re not brand new anymore, so it’s time for us to send new impulses and a new message.
“Mini is getting a little more serious and premium, yet still with an edgy, fun spin.”