As the automotive press has reported previously, BMW invested so much in the new MINI that they didn't actually expect to turn a profit within the first production cycle of the car. This was a huge gamble on BMWs part and it led to talk of the next generation MINI possibly losing some of the current car's more expensive components in the quest for quicker profits. While that may yet happen to some small degree it would seem that success of the current car (and the possibility of profit sooner rather than later) has assured the next MINI will keep the same performance DNA that we've come to love.

This excerpt comes from a recent news story via Bloomberg that's actually quoting a story from Handelsblatt:

“Chances are good” that the unit of Munich-based BMW will
pay off development costs and become profitable with the first set
of vehicles, the German newspaper quoted Chief Financial Officer Stefan
Krause as saying.
Analysts had expected the Mini to remain unprofitable until
revised models go on sale in 2007, Handelsblatt reported.

The division's 2004 production of 184,000 cars beat the
company's initial forecast of 100,000 units a year, the German
newspaper said in a preview of an article in tomorrow's edition.
At the same time, BMW will expand the Mini's Oxford, England,
factory only “carefully,” to ensure that extra capacity meets
demand, the newspaper said.

You can read the original article (provided you read German) here.