Mini kicks off city car project aimed at producing Smart ForTwo rival

1997 Mini Spiritual city car concept

Remember the original Mini? It was absolutely tiny compared to the batch of Mini Coopers and Clubmans on our roads today. The current crop of Minis have grown substantially compared to the iconic models of the past, which has left a size void for the company to fill in. To fill in that gap, Mini has kicked off a city car study aimed at increasing company sales by offering lower-priced models. The company describes its city car as a potential Smart ForTwo rival, which is probably a poor comparison choice.

Mini's city car project is in the early stages right now and the company doesn't plan to reveal a concept until next year, but Autocar spoke with a company source, who revealed quite a bit of information, including:
Nothing is decided just yet. It is all at an early stage of conception. But there is a lot of momentum behind it right now. We may be ready to show a concept within the next 12 months or perhaps a little longer. The question we've asked ourselves all along is: how do we make money at this level?
Many questions still remain: will the city car employ a rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout like BMW's Megacity, or will we see a front-engine, front-wheel-drive setup like current Mini products? Will it seat two, like the claimed rival ForTwo or will the Mini city car offer seating for four? We won't know answers to these questions for quite some time, but the Mini Spiritual (pictured) city car concept from 1997 could provide us with some clues.

[Source: Autocar]

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