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.
The psychedelic tape has come off the 2011 Mini Cooper prototypes running around, and it is indeed a "very, very minor facelift" you can expect for the next model. The camouflage hides chrome-rimmed intakes, two in front and two in back, which will not only distinguish it from earlier models but also from the Countryman – at least for the time being. New light clusters will also adorn the refreshed hatch, and some interior finishes will be upgraded – but don't expect that giant speed