New superminis for 2013

  • New superminis due in 2013
  • Includes BMW i3 and all-new Mini
  • Insider info and exclusive spy shots
BMW i3 Coupe previews production car
BMW i3 Coupe previews production car
BMW i3
What is it? All-new electric city car with revolutionary carbonfibre construction
Price from £30,000 (est)
On sale Winter

The BMW i3 will offer ultra-modern looks and technology when it arrives in showrooms before the end of 2013.

It's an electrically-powered four-seater, with a lightweight carbonfibre body, clever packaging (there is around 200 litres of luggage space) and back doors that are hinged at the rear to open up a wide aperture into the cabin. The car's preview concept had clear door panels, but the production model’s will be painted.

The i3 has a rear-mounted electric motor generating 168bhp. That's enough, the company claims, to take the car from 0-37mph in less than four seconds, 0-62mph in less than eight, and on to a top speed of 93mph. The lithium-ion battery pack gives a range of around 100 miles.

BMW i3 is the first car in BMW's new 'i' family – the i8 supercar will be next, in 2014

BMW is yet to announce pricing, but the i3 won't be cheap. Even insiders say it will cost 'as much as a top-line 1 Series', which is around £30,000.

Mini
What is it? All-new version of reborn style icon
Price from £12,000 (est)
On sale Winter

Read new Mini reviewsAll-new Mini is expected to grow slightly, spy shots show that the styling will evolve subtly

Reinventing the Mini was ?a massive task for the BMW Group back in 2001. Now it has to do it all over again with the new generation of the car, which will make its first public appearance before the end of 2013.

The 2013 Mini will use the ?same front-wheel-drive chassis and mechanicals as the next-generation BMW 1 Series. That's likely to mean a slight increase in wheelbase, perhaps improving the rear cabin space, a new range of engines, including 1.0-litre three-cylinder units.

Inside, you can expect updated infotainment systems and updated – if still retro – styling. Early test shots have shown a heavily modified fascia, although it does seem likely ?that the characteristic large speedometer will be retained.

The new standard Mini will be the first of a string of models to appear. Plans are in place for successors to the Countryman, Coupe and Roadster, although the long-term future of the oddball Clubman is less certain.

MG 3
What is it? Chinese-developed small hatch from reborn UK brand
Price from £9000 (est)
On sale Autumn

Read new MG reviewsMG 3 supermini is already on sale in other markets; UK version will get improved interior quality

MG's Ford Fiesta rival has been on sale for a year in China, but ?the manufacturer seems in no rush to introduce the MG 3 into the UK.

Originally planned to appear in 2012, the MG 3 is not now destined to arrive in British showrooms until 'the end of 2013’.

The MG3 is likely to come with a 1.5-litre petrol engine, and a new small diesel will follow. MG is promising its cabin quality will be much improved over the Chinese edition. Cosmetic tweaks are also possible.

Expect the car to be keenly priced – up to £1000 below the cheapest Fiesta.

Mitsubishi Mirage
What is it? New city car that’s likely to be aggressively priced
Price from £8000 (est)
On sale Spring

Read new Mitsubishi reviewsNew Mitsubishi Mirage is smaller than the Colt it replaces; all versions have CO2 emissions of less than 100g/km

The Mitsubishi Mirage is an attempt at ?a 'global small car'. The five-door hatchback goes ?on sale this spring, and is around 25cm shorter than ?a Ford Fiesta, but slightly longer than a Fiat Panda.

Power will be supplied by three-cylinder petrol engines: a 1.0-litre with 70bhp and a 1.2 with 79bhp. Mitsubishi claims the car will have low running costs to match its keen price. Stop-start, brake energy recuperation and low-rolling-resistance tyres will all be standard, and both models will emit less than 99g/km of CO2.

Vauxhall Corsa
What is it? Heavy revision of Vauxhall’s staple supermini
Price from £9000 (est)
On sale Winter

Read the Vauxhall Corsa review2013 Vauxhall Corsa will be based on the current car; styling will be influenced by Vauxhall's other models

The new Vauxhall Corsa is likely to make its public debut at the Frankfurt motor show next September, although the order books may not open until the very end of the year.

As our image shows, the new car takes many styling cues from larger Vauxhalls, including the Astra and Insignia, but it's also likely to offer a little of the personalisation showcased on the newly launched Adam.

The Corsa will ride on a revamp of its current chassis, but it's likely to get a whole new line-up of engines, including improved three-cylinder petrols and a more refined small diesel.

Hyundai i10
What is it? New city car will remain cheap and cheerful
Price from £8500 (est)
On sale Autumn

Renault new car reviews
All-new Hyundai i10 is likely to be roughly the same size as the current model; updated engines should improve fuel economy and CO2 emissions

Spy shots suggest that the new Hyundai i10 will follow ?a familiar formula to the current car, but with a more pronounced 'kick' to the side window line. ?

It should be almost identical ?in size, too, although it's a different story in the ?cabin, where there is likely to be a more stylish look, similar to the interiors of the i30 and i40.

We'd be surprised if the new i10's engines deviated radically from what's already on offer, although updates to the 1.0- and 1.2-litre petrol powerplants are likely to give improved fuel economy and CO2 emissions.

Renault Zoe
What is it? Mainstream electric car
Price from £13,650 (including grant)
On sale March

Renault new car reviews
Renault Zoe will be available in three trim levels; prices start at £13,650, including Government grant

The Renault Zoe is the French brand's latest all-electric model, and the one with the most mainstream appeal.

Powered by an 87bhp electric motor, it has, Renault says, the longest range of any mass-produced electric car, with an official maximum of 130 miles.

Unlike with most rival electric cars, the Zoe's battery is leased separately. Prices start at £70 per month for ?a three-year/7500-mile-a-year package.

There are three trim levels – Expression, Dynamique Zen and Dynamique Intens. All come with Bluetooth, climate, cruise and stability control, sat-nav and a USB input socket.

Extra kit on Dynamique Zen and Dynamique Intens models includes alloy wheels, automatic headlights ?and wipers, electric rear windows, rear parking sensors and remote battery charging. Dynamique Zen has a light cabin interior and Teflon seat coatings, while Dynamique Intens has a dark interior and a rear-view camera.

By Leo Wilkinson
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