Bertone will build 2,000 units of a high-performance version of the Mini, an Automotive News Europe report said.

The two-seat Mini by Bertone will have a 225hp petrol engine. It is expected to be sold worldwide at prices starting at about €30,000.

The BMW contract will help the Italian coachbuilder survive difficult times. Without the Mini deal Bertone would have no cars to build next year. It currently builds the Opel Astra convertible, but its successor, the Astra TwinTop, will be produced at Opel’s plant in Antwerp, Belgium, starting next year.

Bertone will receive bodies-in-white from Mini’s plant in Oxford, England, and complete final assembly in its plant in Grugliasco, near Turin.

Sources at Mini parent BMW said the German automaker is helping Bertone compensate for end of production of the innovative BMW C1 motorcycle.

Bertone installed capacity to build 27,000 C1s a year but BMW stopped production three years ago after the motorcycle sold only about 10,000 units a year.