MINI is working to finish a two-seat concept small car that it will debut at the Geneva Motor Show next March. The car will be an update of an existing concept that first appeared in Geneva in 1997 as the MINI Spiritual. The vehicle’s styling is expected to be the first showing of a revitalized retro look for the next wave of offerings from the company, including updates of their current vehicles and two already confirmed releases that will also debut in Geneva.
The new releases, the 2012 Coupe and Roadster models, will be available in 2011—within six months of one another. Not many details about the vehicles are available yet—including estimated fuel economy numbers—but expect that to change by the time they get to Geneva.
In the meantime, MINI will release its new Countryman model later this year. The car, which has been called the “Maxi-MINI” by Edmunds because it’s the largest car the company has produced to date—nearly a half foot longer than the Clubman and 16 inches longer than the Cooper.
Most intriguing though is news of the small car concept, which although not yet confirmed for production, could potentially be one of the first full releases to emerge from BMW’s long-term city car team. BMW, which owns MINI, is creating the two-seat MINI concept as part of its Project I program, which is geared toward designing and developing the next generation of urban mobility. The initiative was launched in 2008, with its first product being the MINI-E—an electrified test vehicle based on MINI’s eponymous vehicle line. BMW has no intention of releasing the plug-in, which it describes as an “experiment,” but will utilize what it learned from the test fleet in future Project I vehicles. So far, MINI has not announced any plans for forthcoming hybrid or electric offerings.