L.A. Auto Show: Mini Cooper bring a couple of cars -- and a scooter

Mini is bringing three new vehicles to the L.A. Auto Show – and one of them isn’t a car.
The automaker will be showing off, for the first time in the U.S., its Mini Superleggera Vision roadster concept car, which the company calls “British with an Italian accent.”

Meant to be a vision of the company’s future, it will be displayed alongside a classic Mini and a Mini Hardtop 4-door, also making its North American debut.

The surprise in the bunch is the Mini Citysurfer – a 40-pound electric scooter that fits inside a mini’s storage space.

The Superleggera concept is a collaboration with the 90-year-old coach building company Touring Superleggera, which adds Italian style and “hand craftsmanship” to the British roadster, says Adrian van Hooydonk, a senior vice president with Mini’s parent company BMW Group.

The resulting vehicle is an open-coach convertible with a sheer, curved windshield and a sleek center fin splitting its trunk. Rounded where the Mini is square, the Superleggera Vision wears a slightly startled look on its front grill, where rounded headlight buckets sit over matching rounded elements in the grill.

Customers will have to wait to see a Superleggera – which means “super light” in Italian – at their dealers.

The Mini Hardtop 4-door, however, will be available for delivery in January.
The 4-door version will be priced at $1,000 more than the 2-door, Mini says. That’s $22,020 for the Mini 4-door Cooper and $25,950 for the Mini Hardtop 4-door Cooper S.

The standard four-door is powered by a 1.5-liter, 3-cylinder engine that produces 132 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque and is capable of zero to 60 in 7.6 seconds.

The S version comes with a 2-liter, four-cylinder that puts out 189 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. Zero to 60 mph passes in 6.5 seconds.

Both versions are available with 6-speed manual and automatic transmissions.
Like a number of other high-end vehicles at this year’s auto show, this Mini features multiple driving mode choices – Mid, for regular driving, Sport, for more exciting motoring, and Green, for better fuel economy.

The car also features stability control and traction control as standard features, which should make going go-cart fast on the low-slung Mini and its 15-inch wheels a bit safer. 

Not new, but still cool, is the Mini’s “HeadsUp” display, which presents critical driving information on the windshield, directly in the driver’s line of sight.

Optional is a camera-based cruise control system that will includes a collision and pedestrian warning, and an automatic braking function that will engage if a collision is imminent. A rear-view camera and Parking Assistant are also available as options.

And the scooter? The Citysurfer concept scooter is capable of running 15mph, with a range of about 10 to 15 miles. It runs off a lithium battery, and can be recharged off a household socket or a 12-volt automobile plug. It’s fitted with disc brakes, front and rear,

As the company puts it: “The MINI Citysurfer Concept closes the often time-consuming gaps in the transportation infrastructure of modern cities in a way which is convenient, emissions-free and also lots of fun.”

The company says the scooter fits easily in a Mini three-door model, which means it would practically get lost in one of the big 4-door Hardtops.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
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