MINI2 has some further information on the next generation range of engines destined for the R56 (next generation) MINI over the next 2-3 years. While most of what is discussed isn't necessarily new info there are some bits that are eyebrow raising. Here are some excerpts from the MINI2 article:

All the new engines are reported to be “significantly” lighter than the current Tritec units, which will also help terms of performance and economy, as well as overall front/rear weight distribution.

It seems the configuration of the new MINI Cooper engine is still not set in stone. The Cooper looks set to be offered with a 1.6 litre DOHC engine, producing either 125 or 140 bhp. It would seem BMW are not sure HOW much more power the next generation Cooper should get, but the good news is whichever they decide, they're heading in the right direction!

Next up is the Cooper S, which looks to be a 1.6 litre DOHC Turbocharged unit, with a power output of between 170-180 bhp. Rumour has it BMW are planning on using the unique advance Multi-Stage Turbocharging technology in the new Cooper S engine. This technology, recently revealed in the BMW 535d, has been developed to eliminate the usual “turbo lag” sensation associated with acceleration in turbo charged vehicles.

Further rumours suggest BMW may offer a 200 bhp “super hot” Cooper S from the factory, as well as a high performance diesel model.

You can read the entire article here

Again most of this information has been mentioned before and we've certainly seen the turbo MCS talked about in previous MINI2 and MotoringFile articles. What seems to be obvious, at least according to this article, is that MINI isn't quite sure where to put the Cooper in terms of the HP range. I'd imagine that they would want at least 40hp between the Cooper and the Cooper S but we really won't know until the final specs are released.

Also interesting here is the mention of the new multi-stage turbo that BMW has been developing for several years. BMW is planning on use the turbo in their own cars so it would seem natural for it to look to use it elsewhere as well. This would give the Cooper S more power from a lighter engine without any real turbo lag. Now add a 200hp version and you've got yourself one fast MINI. And that's without any JCW tuning involved.

So what we have here is a MINI with potentially better weight distribution and much more power out of the box. It'll be an engine that's designed and manufactured by BMW (with PSA's help in initial development) to standards most likely much higher than the current, pre-merger, Chrysler designed Tritec engines. Plus it'll be an engine with a turbo – something that is generally much easier to tune. Sound exciting?