At the Geneva Motor Show earlier in March contract vehicle assembler Magna Steyr unveiled a concept for a small, lightweight off-roader called the Mila Alpin. The Mila Alpin was designed to accommodate a variety of different power-trains including hybrids and electric drives. According to German mag Auto Motor und Sport, they are now talking with both BMW and Mercedes about potentially using the Mila Alpin architecture to underpin new models from the German manufacturers. Since Magna doesn't produce vehicles under its own branding, the Mila Alpin was alway intended as a platform that could be adopted by other companies. Mercedes had always designed the sandwich floor architecture of the A and B-Class in part to accommodate alternative drivetrains. Mercedes however has of late been looking for a partner to help develop the next generation models to reduce the cost. BMW is planning new smaller electric vehicles, possibly with the revival of the Isetta brand. A range of vehicles, including an off-roader, could provide an interesting re-launch to the brand.
[Source: The Truth About Cars]