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MINI’s Miata-fighting Superleggera Roadster might be inching closer to reality

We didn’t quite love the MINI Superleggera Vision Concept, an electric roadster, when it was first unveiled. Despite our misgivings on the looks and EV powertain, MINI just might be sending the Miata fighter to production.

While the BMW-run brand hasn’t confirmed or denied that the striking two-seater will enter production any time soon, recently filed patents hint that MINI might be moving forward with taking the Superleggera from concept to reality.

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The filed patents include computer renderings of the vehicle from various angles and with its soft-top hood up. It doesn’t look like much has changed, apart from a few panel gaps. The windshield and mirrors have changed to have a more practical, functional design, but those are just about the only observable differences. The Renderings even retain the Union Jack-styled brake lights and a thin rear fin found on the concept that is slightly reminiscent of the one sported by the classic Jaguar D-Type.

Related: MINI John Cooper Works revealed well ahead of 2015 Detroit Auto Show

This news gives credence to the speculation that a replacement for the two-seater MINI Coupe and Roadster, as these two vehicles will leave a gap in the lineup when they’re phased out next year.

With nothing being said officially, there’s not much more than abundant speculation based upon the little available. For instance, will the production retain the all-electric powertrain found in the concept? Some roadster enthusiasts might want a familiar petrol engine to tootle around with, but BMW’s success with the all-electric i3 and i8 could carry over to its British-branded sub-brand.

Patents filed don’t necessarily mean that this is a sure thing, but it does give roadster fans something hope that MINI has a true-blue two-seater in the works that’s not another tired variant of the Cooper.