Mazda could be developing a MINI-rival of its own.

Mazda is considering a new premium city car that would rival vehicles like the Citroen DS3 and BMW's MINI range. Mazda first hinted at the possibility of an up-scale compact with the the 2008 Kiyora concept.

Vehicles like the DS3 and MINI have proven to be hot sellers in Europe, with Mazda taking notice. In a recent interview with Autocar, Ichiro Hirose, vice-president of research and development at Mazda Europe, said the Japanese car maker "was interested in the premium sub-B class, and we could have a car launched within the next two or three years."

Mazda tested the idea of a premium supermini with its Kiyora concept four years ago. Although Mazda's luxury compact would be similar in concept the Kiyora, its styling would likely be radically different - the Kiyora was penned under former design boss Laurens van den Acker and doesn't follow Mazda's latest Kodo design language.

No other details about the project are known, including if Mazda has any plans to sell the vehicle in the United States. Given Hirose's two to three year timeframe, we could see a concept previewing the car during the next auto show season.