New MINI Small City Car in the Works
Details are fairly limited for the time being but the aforementioned source claims the engine will be mounted in the back, with petrol models to offer enough room for four. Safety will be enhanced with the help on individual chairs for driver and passenger while city driving gets a boost from a large glass area "to ensure that the car is as easy as possible to drive on congested roads," as Auto Express wrote.
In order to improve engine performance and increase battery life, MINI will turn to all kinds of lightweight materials plus tough plastic bodywork, aluminum and carbon-fiber. And because we were talking about battery, the whole pack will be installed in a sandwich-like assembly under the car, while electric engines will be installed in all four wheels.
Obviously, there are no details regarding the pricing of the new model, but the aforementioned source says the flagship model, the one featuring the electric powerplant, will cost at least 20,000 pounds (21,500 euros).
A different piece of rumor issued this week claims BMW and Fiat are also working on a joint product to be launched around 2011 and producing very low emissions and fuel consumption. It's still unclear whether the two automakers plan to launch the new model under the MINI brand or sell it separately as BMW Isetta or Fiat Topolino in both European and US markets.