The next-generation Mini Cooper Hardtop will go electric, if boss Bernd Koerber has his way, and it may return to its city-car roots, too. 

Auto Express reports that Koerber is pushing to make Mini live up (down?) to its name again, after years of bloat and expansion into segments that haven't really suited the brand. For now, he's content to get its flagship back on track in time for the new model to debut some time in the coming decade. 

"I would love to see Mini move back to the essence of clever use of space," he told the British outlet during an interview at the Frankfurt auto show. "That means the outer proportions on the core Mini hatch could be reduced. I can see that happening."

"The benefit of electrification is that you don’t have to compromise on function. If you fit the battery wisely, you can go smaller but still offer functionality," Koerber continued.

He is aiming to bring the replacement model down to the same dimensions as the 2001 Mini Cooper. While that may not please the absolute purists, it's a start. 

Mini and electrification have been converging for years, with the original Mini E a decade ago. The Mini Electric, which is due to come stateside in 2020, will retain the current Cooper's footprint. The Mini E will get a 181-horsepower electric motor care of parent company BMW's i3s EV. It's also getting an enlarged version of the BMW's battery pack, which is expected to have a capacity of around 55 kwh, giving the Mini E a 200-mile EPA range. 

Those who truly want a classic Mini experience upgraded with an electric powertrain can have one, but at a price, as private companies and owners have come up with conversion kits for both the classic Mini and its modern descendants.