BBC Autos

In Italy, Mini Superleggera brings an early summer

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Press your red trousers, internet, because concours season is upon us. To celebrate, Mini teamed up with legendary coachbuilder Touring Superleggera to create this one-off speedster... thing.

But unlike most concepts, which have loosely tangible purposes like previewing styling ideas, the Mini Superleggera Vision seems to have been built for absolutely no reason beyond some lawn ornamentation at Villa d'Este. A bit like those retrogasmic efforts from BMW we got excited about last month.

So, the facts. The Vision's been put together like a proper superleggera (translation: superlight). That means there's an aluminium spaceframe chassis, which is covered by large hand-beaten alloy sheets that explains why there aren't any panels gaps.

Louis de Fabribeckers, Head of design of Touring Superleggera, 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 Italian touch is in the proportions and the typical waistline."

Though, you could argue that the rear lights are both decorative and unnecessary. BMW-owned Mini's keen to hammer home its Britishness, which is manifest in the Union Jack LED light clusters. And the Union Jack bracketry in the doors. Very subtle...

Much like its engine note. Which is entirely absent. And while Mini hasn't told us what it's packing under that long bonnet, we suspect it's spun off the Mini E setup, That means 0-60mph acceleration of better than eight seconds, top speed of in excess of 95mph, and at least 120 miles on each charge.

Look closely, and you'll see some slightly more familiar Mini-ish sights. In the middle of the vast, naked aluminium dashboard which is made out of a single sheet of metal there's the new car's centre console. It's been extended to include a touch-sensitive control element and two circular instruments with metal surrounds on the right.

Look on the far right and, as well as a wantonly analogue clock, there's a little button that activates a camera set between the driver and front passenger seat, which, as BMW has it, "captures those particularly worthwhile moments on the road." Hmm.

OK, so it's extremely frivolous, and slightly cringey, but you would, wouldn't you?