The US auto magazine Motortrend joins the next generation MINI party with a load of info (and a photo) that seems vaguely familiar. To be fair, the magazine does manage to do a decent job of at least summing up what MotoringFile readers have known for awhile. Here’s an excerpt:

Great handling and roadholding remain a priority, but the current multilink rear axle will be simplified for cost-saving and extra rear-seat room. Increased wheel travel is designed to allow better ride quality.

…If you wanted a four-cylinder engine a decade ago, would you have gone to Chrysler? Somehow, BMW did, but by late 2006, it’ll be out of the Brazil-sourced joint venture with Chrysler. The new engine’s sophistication comes from BMW, and its frugality comes from cooperating on purchasing and design with Peugeot-Citroen, French master of cost savings. The other priority was fuel economy. Corporate Average Fuel Economy regulations commence in Europe in 2008, and the current Mini is thirsty for what it does.

The entry-level Mini One, not for U.S. import, will have a 114-horsepower 1.6 with a version of BMW Valvetronic in place of direct-injection and the turbo. Peugeot-Citroen will offer a variable-timed 1.4-liter version of the engine in 74 and 94 horsepower in its small cars.

Aluminum 170-horsepower, 1.6-liter direct-injection turbo four, with 10.5:1 compression ratio, more low-down torque, and freer revving up top, replaces current 168-horse iron lump. The twin-scroll turbo uses alternating exhaust pulses, the manifold pairing up cylinders one and four, two and three. BMW expects 15-percent-better fuel economy, which would be nearly 29 mpg and 37 mpg on the U.S. EPA cycles. The standard Cooper motor is a detuned direct-injection turbo making about 141 horses. Trannys are five- and six-speed manual and conventional automatic (no more CVT).

[ New MINI, New Engine ] Motortrend

That last paragraph may revive the debate on whether or not the Cooper will get the 140hp turbo 4 cylinder or if it will stay at the 115hp level. Originally it was assumed that MINI would use the middle range engine from the BMW/PSA joint venture as a way to bump up the power in the Cooper somewhat. However the most recent info I’ve heard had the Cooper retaining it’s 115hp number for the next generation car. Time will tell.

While much of what’s in the article has been revealed many times before on this site and others, it’s a nice introduction into what will be the next MINI. Of course, if you want all the detailed info on the R56, you’ll want to check out our previous article on the subject:

[Next Generation MINI Revealed ] MotoringFile