This handmade Italian roadster is a Mini Cooper unlike any other

The distinctive look of the Mini Cooper hatchback isn’t easily distilled into other body types — the Mini Coupe, Roadster, and Countryman are living proof of that. But Milan-based coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring has teamed up with Mini’s design team to build a truly spectacular one-off, electric-powered concept roadster that somehow manages to meld the classic British design with sleek Italian looks. The so-called Mini Touring Superleggera Vision will almost certainly never see the roads in this form, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fall in love with the design.

The concept is built in the patented superleggera style — Italian for “superlight.” A lightweight steel tube frame is covered with hand-pounded sheets of aluminum for an ultra-light design.

The front of the concept holds most of the Mini design legacy — a large grille and perky, circular headlights are evocative of Minis of old.

Despite that big, classic Mini grille, this concept is an EV.

But it’s clear from just about any other angle that this is a very different Mini. Like most true superleggeras, the rear extends far back.

And there’s a wild ’50s-style fin on the boot that manages to work together with the half-retro, half-futuristic design.

Perhaps the most distinctive feature are the LED taillights, which — yes — are a split Union Jack.

The taillights aren’t nearly as kitschy as one might expect — they’re so deftly executed that the rear looks as classic as an Aston Martin.

Superleggeras are all about saving weight. As Louis de Fabribeckers, Head of Design at Carrozzeria Touring says, “In this car all unnecessary equipment or decoration is sacrificed, as performance is gained through lightness and efficiency of the bodywork and interior.”

The design employs massive, hand-pounded sheets of aluminum that are placed onto a lightweight tubular steel frame.

Minimal Italian design dominates the interior — the dash is one single piece of unpainted aluminum.

Though the designers couldn’t help but bring back Mini’s classic circular center dial.

The three-spoke steering wheel is far more elegant than those found on a typical Mini.

Carrozzeria Touring and BMW-owned Mini revealed the stunning concept this weekend at Concours d’Elegance at Italy’s idyllic Villa d’Este near Rome.

While a handmade beauty like this will never see production, we hope Mini makes good use of those truly wonderful taillights in a production car.

Source: The Verge


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