Here in the U.S., the Smart ForTwo has proven less than successful considering the needs of most of drivers. Sold here on the merits of its efficiency, the Smart's true element is in the cities of Europe, where the small size allows nose-in parking and a diesel powertrain that's actually pleasant to drive. Mini and its BMW parents think that there may be something to Smart's success, even though the company has said in the past that small city cars aren't profitable.

According to an Autocar source, a Mini city car concept may debut within the next year. Part of the impetus for the reversal is BMW's backing of a three-cylinder engine, as well as a heavy focus on component sharing with the upcoming BMW MegaCity and other models under the BMW umbrella, along with new production techniques. The car should be smaller than the current Mini, though larger than the Smart. Details like chassis layout and styling have not been divulged, though back in the Rover days, Mini showed off the Spiritual concept (pictured above) and there was talk of a production version. However, how it fares in the marketplace will hinge on how well BMW packs value and the trademark Mini verve into its tiny shell.

[Source: Autocar]