At the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, Mini is expected to display in concept form a new entry-level model that it is currently working on. The first phase of building the prototype of this model -- dubbed the Mini Minor or "Mini Mini" -- is ongoing at a BMW site in Munich, Germany.
Last month, AutoWeek first broke the news about this small car, which would be based on a modified version of an existing front-engine/front-wheel-drive platform with a shorter wheelbase.
The Mini was developed as part of BMW's broad-based project "i" mobility initiative, which also created the more high-tech, carbon-fiber-intensive Mega City Vehicle. Mini actually doesn't have very much in common with the Mega City.
At this juncture, not much has been divulged about the car's layout. However, engineers who participate in the design of Mini models admit that it would be a highly complex matter to come up with a front-engine/front-wheel-drive, four-seat city car that's shorter than the 3,700-millimeter-long hatch while meeting all relevant crash-test criteria in Europe and North America.
This will likely mean that the new Mini will get a two- seat interior in a move similar to that of rival Smart ForTwo. It's also possible that it will have a three-seat configuration like that of the Toyota iQ. [via autoweek]