Mini Unveils Concept, Plans Design Reboot To Avoid Being a 'Parody'

May 29, 2014 01:31 PM EDT | Jordan Ecarma (j.ecarma@autoworldnews.com)

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Superlegga Mini Concept

Some of the roadster's features emulate the Union Jack. (Photo : BMW)

A new Mini concept hints at a future electric model and a revamped design that will keep the brand from becoming a "parody" of itself.

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The Superlegga Vision Concept, a product of a collaboration between Mini and an Italian car design company, is a two-seater that runs on an electric motor with rear-wheel drive, Edmunds.com reported.

For the project with Carrozeria Touring of Milan, the goal was to build "a very modern, beautiful roadster" that featured "simple form language, combining beauty with modern features like the Union Jack taillights," according to Mini design boss Anders Warming, Edmunds reported.

Besides the taillights, the car also reflects the United Kingdom's national flag with an exposed series of metal tubes for its side-impact shield.

The concept is influenced by the design of the original 1960s Minis for its instrument panel and features the signature Mini wheel stance, grille and headlight design, according to Edmunds.

The term "Superlegga" means "superlight," a word used in the 1950s and 1960s to denote high-end cars.

A gas-electric combination motor is another possibility for a future Mini. BMW Group design chief Adrian van Hooydonk "would like to see a hybrid drivetrain--it's the modern way to make an open car go fast," as quoted by Edmunds.

Whether they're electric or hybrid, future Minis will also need a design reboot.

"It's time to open it up," Hooydonk said of the design platform. "A brand has to be fed, otherwise it becomes a parody."

A new Mini roadster could be priced around $48,000, according to brand head Peter Schwarzenbauer.

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