The AVC30 (pictured in the article) was designed back in 1995 and was sidelined way before 97. It was built as a one off for the 1997 Monte Carlo rally. It was designed at the same time as Spiritual and Spiritual Too (other MINI designs) AVC30 was one of 5 designs from Germany presented for the E50 project (MINI). The two Spiritual cars where designed at Longbridge by the Rover group also for the E50 project.
Our car is a mostly basied on one of the German designs with some of the Spiritual features added in.
BTW: No MINI2 member should be without this Book: New MINI by Graham Robson
It has 4 pages on the AVC30 and many pictures.