DaimlerChrysler's Smart division has given the British 'Project Kimber' consortium the green light to build its roadster and roadster-coupe once they are discontinued by the German-US automaker.

A contract for the licence to redesign, produce and sell the former smart models will be drawn up within the next few months, DC said in a statement on Monday.

The British consortium will sell the vehicles under a different brand, probably reviving one of the famous 'MG Rover' sportscar brands, according to recent press speculation.

DaimlerChrysler said smart and the British consortium signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) last Friday, 17 February.

The MoU also includes the consortium's intention to purchase production equipment for both models no longer needed by smart.

Smart last year decided to axe the roadster and roadster-coupe models as part of a major restructuring.

Final, limited-production versions dubbed 'collectors edition' will be displayed at the Geneva motor show at the end of this month.