A revival of the MG Midget forms the centrepiece of two of the rival bids to restart car production at Longbridge.
Both Nanjing Automotive and the Project Kimber consortium have unveiled designs for the models they will build if they win the battle to buy MG Rover and its assets.
The new Midget is part of a three-strong range announced by Project Kimber, which is still attempting to seal funding for its bid.
Kimber said it was ?going back to the future? with a new model MGB and GT to be launched in 2007 plus a 160mph MG Flagship to be unveiled in 2008.
The company aims to produce 22,000 Flagships a year through a revitalised global network along with a return to the USA.
Nanjing Automotive?s plan would include five cars produced in the UK and China.
Meanwhile, it is understood that the third bidder, MG Rover?s former partner Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, could unveil its designs this week.
Administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers still have to decide who will win the auction for MG Rover, although sources close to the Nanjing bid said it was in a strong position.
The new Midget features in a series of designs for new models Nanjing plans to produce if it is successful. They are being developed with engineering consultancy Arup. Nanjing could revive the Austin brand to sell cars in China.
A source close to Nanjing said it was the frm?s plan to keep high value sports and luxury cars in the UK, while small and medium cars would be produced in China and shipped to Britain for final assembly.
Meanwhile, a source close to Project Kimber, the David James consortium named after MG engineer Cecil Kimber, said financial negotiations were going well.
The source added: ?If you go to the US, the generic term for a two-seat sports car is the MG. It?s like Hoover and vacuum cleaners. We believe we can build on that.?
Barrie Wills, spokesman for Project Kimber, said the retro names were deliberate.
?We wanted to get back to the car Cecil Kimber produced ? affordable roadsters. Everybody knows what an MGB or Midget looks like.?