It hasn’t shown up yet in BMW’s official PR channels, but word is getting out that the company has approved for production the Mini Superleggera Vision concept, shown in Italy at last year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.

The Superleggera Vision is a slick little roadster that, says Mini, combines “modern Britishness with Italian flair;” the design was a collaboration between Mini and Italian coachbuilder, Touring Superleggera.

If the rumours are true and this car goes on sale in 2018, it would ostensibly replace the Mini Roadster (whose production run ends this year), one of the (too) many Cooper-based variants in the brand’s current line-up; it would also inject some stylistic variety into the Mini vehicle range, and give the brand a “halo” car—the one thing that it lacks, given how common the cutesy Cooper has become.

The Superleggera Vision ran on electric power, predicting a future of battery-powered Minis, but even if the production Superleggera were to include an electric powertrain, pricing concerns would probably dictate lower-end models using Mini’s current three- and four-cylinder engines. Mini prices the Roadster a few ticks below $32,000 in base Cooper S trim, and as a replacement for that car, we’d expect a production Superleggera to come in around $35,000, though we admit that might not be realistic is Mini does position it as a halo model. Halo or not, don’t hold your breath for the concept’s hand-shaped sheetmetal, or the leather, aluminum and black chrome that adorned its spartan interior.

Whatever goes into the car and how it’s priced, if it looks half as good as the concept, we’ll call this one a win for fans of fun, open-air motoring.

Mini Superleggera Vision concept (10)

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