Electric MINI Superleggera Decision Just Months Away: Report Photo:
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Trevor Collett | Sep, 18 2014 | 3 Comments

A production decision for MINI’s Superleggera roadster could be made within the next six months, according to BMW’s Peter Schwarzenbauer.

Speaking with Reuters, Mr Schwarzenbauer reportedly said parent company BMW would need to “investigate seriously” before giving the roadster the green light, but production is not out of the question.

"To really investigate seriously [you] look into several different options [and] you come to the question: do we produce it ourselves, do we give it to somebody else?" Mr Schwarzenbauer said.

"To evaluate all of this, I would say six months at least.”

The MINI Superleggera was first unveiled as the ‘Superleggera Vision’ concept in May of this year, but BMW was secretive on the concept’s power plant at that time.

Now it seems a future production version could feature electric power, but whether that means all-electric or a combination with petrol or diesel power as a hybrid is unclear.

A new MINI roadster would compete in various markets with the likes of Mazda’s MX-5, its own stable-mate in the rumoured BMW Z2 and even the Daihatsu Copen.

An all-electric power plant would give the MINI a point of difference however, and could be reason enough for BMW to give the project the green light.

Or the carmaker could just as easily cull models from its current line-up, which is apparently the preferred option for Mr Schwarzenbauer.

MINI is believed to be facing an each-way bet; whether to increase its current line-up to ten models or concentrate on just five.

"I think, slightly on the emotional side, that concentrating on five ‘superheroes’ (models) has a great appeal to me," Mr Schwarzenbauer said, stopping short of naming those superheroes.

Schwarzenbauer also indicated a shift in production was likely in 2015, with the current production load of 58 percent carried by the Oxford plant in the UK to increase “dramatically” next year.

Whether this means an increase in overall production - when combined with the factory in India - or a shift to a five-model line-up with production to cease elsewhere is unclear. Stay tuned to TMR for more.

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