A MINI Roadster designed by Franca Sozzani (the chief editor of Italian VOGUE) went up for an auction at the AIDS Solidarity Gala and has raised a total donation of 54,000 euros for HIV projects. This special one-off car is built exclusively by Sozzani to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the charity event. It’s only fitting that the MINI Roadster, the first open-top two-seater in the brand’s history, would mark this special event.
Sozzani adorned the roof of the 184 hp MINI Roadster, which could reach a top speed of 227 km/h (141 mph), in a fashionably intricate floral design. It also comes with the “of the moment” Deepest Purple matt paintwork and gold hallmark MINI rally stripes. The car’s interior features a generously printed leather for the instruments. It also gets brass-coloured touches on the circular elements.
Sozzani, the most influential woman in the Italian fashion industry, is also a keen MINI driver. Sozzani said that she took inspiration from the “beautiful and elegant women who in the past used to wear a scarf draped around their head when driving a convertible.” She is the current UN Goodwill Ambassador for Fashion 4 Development.
The new concept styling loyally reflects MINI’s design principles: tight and sporty surfaces, continuous and seamless curves, and matching lines. These are perfected with an oblique windscreen frame slanted an extra 13 degrees over the MINI Convertible. The passenger compartment is shorter and condensed: two seats and a flat boot, offset by striking roll-over bars made of shining stainless steel. The design team went all out, sculpting the bars all around, then padding them in front and including a mount for a wind protection insert that’s an available option.
The MINI Roadster waist is lifted just a little along the body’s entire length, creating a sophisticated silhouette, giving the Roadster a distinctive appeal, opened or closed top. This appealing look is emphasised even more with chrome trim that wraps around the base of the roof and windows. The increased rake and sharp taper of the windscreen frame give this MINI Convertible iteration a clear, unique, and irrefutably sporty look from the front.
Following MINI tradition, the Roadster’s strong stance over the wheel also adds to its look. The car's character finds even more emphasis in unique design touches like radiator’s hexagonal outlined grille, the lower body’s black border, chrome trim, integrated indicators in the broad and round headlights, vertical lights at the extreme edges of the rear end, and the attractive side indicators around the side panels in front.