Sunday, June 13, 2010

MINI Minor City Car to Rival Smart Fortwo, Toyota iQ?

After introducing a new crossover at the top-end of its lineup, MINI now appears to be readying a new entry-level model – reportedly referred to as the MINI Minor by BMW officials. Designed as a true city car, the new minier MINI would be built to compete against the Smart Fortwo and Toyota iQ models and would be comparible in size. In fact, this would give the car roughly the same footprint as the original MINI Cooper.
According to a report by AutoCar, MINI has long wanted to introduce a more compact model but struggled with how to make it profitable. Solutions to those problems may be had by looking at BMW’s upcoming Megacity car. Similar to the Megacity, the MINI city car would use traditional technology (rather than carbon fiber bodywork). It’s existence may also be the result of BMW’s push to develop three-cylinder engines. Reports have suggested the next generation of MINI Cooper models would use 3-cylinder engines, which could then also be used in a MINI city car, keeping development costs low and helping reduce production costs through economies of scale.
An inside source at the company told AutoCar that the mini car project hasn’t been given the green light just yet, but that a concept model could be shown in the next 12 months.
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