Over the past year we’ve reported on the new 3 cylinder powerplant that is being developed and built by BMW 100% in house. During that time we’ve also wondered out-loud what this meant for the future of the BMW PSA partnership that created the current four cylinder range of MINI powerplants. Now Reuters is reporting that BMW and PSA will be parting ways and not co-developing any new engine or drivetrain components. However what’s really interesting is that BMW themselves crafted a press release last February indicating that the partnership would continue culminating in a new four cylinder engine capable of meeting EU6 efficiency standards. Either things have changed rapidly or Rueters has simply gotten it wrong. We’d bet on the former.
Whether that is true (or if that engine is destined for the MINI) it’s worth noting that the current 1.6L four cylinder engines will continue to have a long life ahead of them in quite a few MINI models. The “Prince” range will be mostly phased out on the R56 with the introduction of the 3 cylinder 2014 MINI in late 2013. However the “Prince” family of engines will continue to power R56 variants such as the R55 Clubman (until 2014), R57 Convertible (until 2015) and the R58 Roadster (2017) and R59 CoupÃ© (2017).