MINI USA to Likely Launch Diesels in Conjunction with New Models

It was a little more than a year ago that we broke the first viable rumor that MINI might finally be bringing a diesel engine option to the US market. Than in January, there were a number of gems in the interviews we did with Jim McDowell and Dr. Kay Segler at the North American International Auto Show. Even more recently, MINI product manager, Patrick McKenna, has once again confirmed that MINI USA is very interested in bringing a Diesel option to US MINIs. So what do we make of it all?

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Dr. Segler wasn’t shy in saying that the current generation of cars is off the table due to design issues associated with the bluetech solution. The technology uses urea injection to reduce CO2 emissions and requires a low-cost refill at oil change intervals. The problem is there simply isn’t a place to put it in the current generation of cars. However MINI engineers in Germany have taken note and rumor has it that most new cars going forward could accommodate such a system.

However the irony is that MINI will soon be offering ultra efficient three cylinders in Cooper models that won’t be far off diesel MPG figures.

That’s just the thing, isn’t it? The US MINI community’s previous lust for all things MINI diesel has been in the context of previous MINI engine power and efficiency numbers. However, as we’ve reported previously, the next generation MINI Cooper, the F56, will feature a range of three (and four) cylinder engines. With the weight of the F56 set to drop, and more efficient power coming coming from these new power plants, the petrol-burning MINI Cooper is likely to approach diesel-like numbers on its own. Would the extra diesel torque be worth the likely significant price premium when the bone standard F56 MINI Cooper will likely get the better part of 47 mpg on the highway?

What do you think? Where’s your torque-to-range sweet spot? Sound off in the comments.