Those worries about MINI’s being built on a Punto chassis died a quiet death recently. In its place BMW has decided to build the next MINI using a shared BMW Group components – notably from the next generation 1 Series. This combined with the increased model range from MINI will (as the plans go) give BMW the economies of scale it’s looking for with the MINI brand.
For MINI enthusiasts this should be a huge sigh of relief knowing that the next car will not have to be subject to another car manufacturers needs in any way (the backwards engine in the R56 is a good example of this). Additionally it opens the door for even more collaboration with the BMW group. Specifically don’t be surprised to see more engine sharing between the two brands. Look for JCW power-plants ending up in the next generation 1 Series (and it’s derivatives) as well as BMW diesels (and potentially small turbo four cylinders) finding their way into MINIs.
While it may not seem too earth shattering now, these decisions will shape the MINI brand more than anything else we’ve seen since the creation of the R50 around the turn of the century. Look for further details in the coming weeks and months.
+ The Future of BMW (the Z2) / BimmerFile