With the joint production of the “Prince’ family of engines currently underway with the R56 starting production, BMW and PSA (the parent company of Peugeot and Citroen) have agreed to study a possible expansion of the current petrol engine offerings. Here’s the full press release from BMW:

>BMW Group and PSA Peugeot Citroën have agreed to extend their successful cooperation in the field of petrol four-cylinder engines. They will jointly conduct a feasibility study concerning a new family of engines, with advanced technology features aimed at delivering excellent power and torque characteristics combined with reduced fuel consumption and CO2-emissions. If the study confirms the expected technological, industrial and financial benefits the two companies intend to enter into a joint development project.

>PSA Peugeot Citroën and BMW Group have already a cooperation agreement concerning the development and production of a family of 1.6 – liter turbocharged petrol engines, encompassing two technologies: fully variable valve drive and direct injection, with power ranking from 55 kW (75 hp) to 128 kW (175 hp). The engines sport the newly launched MINI as well as Peugeot and Citroën vehicles.

MF Analysis: How does this impact the MINI? Despite what has been reported elsewhere about a possible 2.0L engine, the official press release only refers to a new “family” of engines much like what is currently available. We believe this could simply be the first step in what will eventually become the design and development of an entirely new series of small 4 cylinder engines destined for the 3rd generation “new” MINI and small BMWs in the early part of the next decade. For those who remember, BMW and PSA released something similar way back in 2001 – a full five years before the introduction of the R56. This release would seem to indicate similar timing.