MINI to Launch Cooper S Diesel in 2011

For over a year now we’ve told you about MINI’s plans for a high performance diesel to wear the moniker Cooper S D. In fact the MF Diesel section is riddled with articles showing you pictures of the engine (it’s a modified 2.0L BMW diesel mill) to the actual test cars. Now it would seem BMW is finally ready to put the engine and the models on the market.

With 2010 all about the refreshed R55, R56 and R57 models, MINI has decided to wait to release the Cooper S D model until the first quarter of 2011. We expect the R55, R56 and R60 to debut with the new engine at the Geneva Motor Show in March of 2011 and for sales to begin around the same time. We may even see it in the R57 convertible if rumors are to be believed. However the one place we know we won’t see it is in the North American market. Since the engine won’t be shared with any other BMW models in the US, federalization costs would have been too high. Furthermore MINI USA is putting all their efforts into making sure the new 3 Cylinder engines for the next generation MINIs (due out in late 2013) match or exceed most diesel powerplants currently offered.

We expect the MINI version to match the 318d BMW version of the engine with around 141 hp and 230 ft lbs of torque. Oh and efficiency? We don’t have specific numbers that convert into Imperial or US MPG but we would expect something over 50 mpg in the UK and 40 in the US.

Image courtesy of our friends at Bigblogg

  • I’d buy one right now, sight unseen, no questions asked. I don’t even care what color it is.

  • Barry

    I would normally be bummed but the 2011 U.S. spec Cooper S might match the normal Cooper in hwy MPG so I dont care. That’s almost 40mpg out of a non hybrid/quick car. Hello!?!?!?!? We can wait for the diesel 3/cyl. 😀

  • jarrett

    i agree with ronald above, buy one right here right now, too bad mini(bmw) is shortsighted in this engine category for the us market. yes i know certain larger more environmental rigourous states have an aversion to anything diesel. but mini markets itself as a get the option you want car company. well guess i may be getting a vw next time or audi or heavens forbid a mercedes.+

  • JonPD

    Should be a good move by MINI to get the 2.0 liter into the range, should be a good upgrade to the current D’s. Still would love for this come stateside, I am quite sure the only thing stopping it is dealing with the particulant output.

  • zm


    the price break on diesel is now gone for most of the country. couple that with the added cost for diesel models and payback is usually out of the question.

    as for environmental, mpg doesn’t tell the story. the LCA emissions for diesel is only 5-10% savings over gas. my guess is it’s less than 5% compared to the new 3-cyl motors coming from MINI.

    security–no reduction in foreign oil exports.

    and then there’s drivability. the life blood of a MINI is fun, sporty driving. why do i want to turn my MINI into a VW? i can’t imagine one of these diesels being exciting on a track.

    so, i implore someone to give me a well educated reason to be excited, vs ‘OMG it’s a diesel, i want one.’

  • FINALLY!!!!!!!

  • zm

    and, obviously my pricing scenario is US biased. I think diesel is about $1-US/gal cheaper than gas in europe–so, some benefit, there. i’m curious how the cost spread b/n the gas and diesel models compares in europe vs US.

    still, from an environmental POV, diesel only has a very small benefit over the new DI Turbo gas motors.

  • Lukas
    zm wrote: and then there’s drivability. the life blood of a MINI is fun, sporty driving. why do i want to turn my MINI into a VW? i can’t imagine one of these diesels being exciting on a track. so, i implore someone to give me a well educated reason to be excited, vs ‘OMG it’s a diesel, i want one.’

    Your statement imply that diesel engines run counter to MINI’s fun, sporty driving characteristics. How about powering through and out of twisties without downshifting to keep engine rev high in the power band? Or instead of stepping on the accelerator at those critical moments and get that wait, wait… blast off! you get mountains of torque the moment you need it. If that doesn’t add to MINI’s fun, sporty driving characteristics, I don’t know what does. Overall better fuel economy is just a bonus. Once people from the states get to drive the Cooper S Diesel in Europe, they’ll realize that there is a lot of well educated reasons behind “OMG, it’s a diesel. I want one” than just the statement alone.

  • zm

    good point about the corners–it would be fun to try.

    i’m still in my ’06 JCW, so i don’t have the daily experience of turbo lag w/o the diesel torque. i’ve had some new loaners and it’s def annoying to deal with.

    as for more aggressive driving, i would miss 200+ hp when it’s time to open it up. and, 230-ft-lbs seems like a heck of a lot of torque steer to deal with when trying to apply the limited diesel hp to the road.

  • Alan Smithee

    I would have bought one sight unseen as well.

    Diesel torque is great for driving around town, and fun for squirting out of corners. Nothing not to like about better mileage, longer tank range, and smaller fuel bills, either (diesel has continued to be less than premium in this area).

  • heyduard

    Diesel not exciting on the track?

    Audi’s v10 tdi winning Le Mans win in P1? Peugot running a diesel in P1 for American Le Mans. VW Golf TDIs with ST podium finishes in Grand-Am.

    that said, the triples will be exciting indeed.

  • Rakey

    Not new news, I posted about this the other day, would have been nice to get some credit

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  • Ian F

    Time to beat that dead horse again…

    I own a TDI… as well as a Cummins… I swear most of those who are clammoring for a diesel MINI have never driven a TDI… Economical, yes, but “fun to drive” it is not. Not even close.

    When I bought my car in ’03, it was the right car at the right time (pre-Katrina when gas was $1.78/gal). I paid well under MSRP for the car and pay-back was quick. Nowadays, not so much… Only marginally better than a hybrid.

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  • Dr61

    I own an O5 MCS and an 09 VW TDI. I would LOVE to have a 2 liter Diesel in a MINI. FUNNNNN.

  • Assuming you don’t live in the US you can get one in six months.

  • gedster314

    Bring it on.

    I find it disgusting that US automakers spend a fortune on hybrid technology that does not perform any better then 10 year old diesels in Europe. Not to mention that these same companies are already selling diesels in Europe.

    TDI’s are great. I liked them when they were noisy, ran waste gated turbos and VE pumps. Now that hey are common rail and variable turbos, they are so much quieter and perform so much better. On the open highway there is nothing better then a diesel. You never have to down shift in order to pass or climb any hill. Set the cruise control at 80 mph and count on having to empty your bladder 2 or 3 times before you have to fill up. Even driving through canyons these things always seem to come out of corners in there power band, I hardly ever have to down shift.

    Why do American auto manufacturers insist on keeping us in the dark ages or at least a decade behind? You saw that with fuel injection, disk brakes and airbags. We still have yet to see a halfway decent turbo. Maybe they are preparing us for when the US is a true 3rd World Country. God knows we are heading that way at a breakneck pace.

    I wish the Asian manufacturers would grow a pair and bring some of their diesels too. God knows VW’s quality isn’t the best but so far they are the only reasonably priced oil burner we have here.

  • gedster314

    Who needs hybrids?

    I forgot to mention economy. When ever someone mentions fuel economy or hybrids, I whip out this article.

    Dated September 2001.

  • dm

    @zm – maybe it’ll void your warranty, but if you want to destroy those LCA numbers, try running your calcs on biodiesel. yes, from a cash standpoint, it’s yet another premium on top of petrodiesel, but from a security & enviro standpoint it’s a hands-down winner. here in norcal, we’re blessed with mild weather and ample supply of the stuff, so it’s perhaps a better option than it might be in colder climes where biodiesel can gum up the works a bit more. i’m running bio in my 2006 tdi and loving the warm fuzzy feeling i get when i take those corners. that said, as @IanF said, it’s not a super sporty drive. i’d expect more from the mini…