Mini USA vice-president Jim McDowell took some time this week to talk to the guys at, the new site by Much of the information here was covered in the Fox News interview we posted earlier this month. There are some new nuggets here as well.

>Recent word of 500 electric Minis coming to the U.S. is accurate (but the announcement caught them “by surprise”) and plans are to have cars in the hands of actual customers “about this time next year.” That said,it isn’t clear whether these cars will be sold, leased, or otherwise disbursed. It is also undetermined whether these cars will be offered outside of California.

Very interesting. Looks like this is really going to happen. Curious to see if those electric cars go for sale or lease and in states other than California.

>Mini USA is keen to incorporate some of the fuel-saving measures present in Minis in other markets (namely stop-start), but U.S. OBD II (on-board diagnostics) regulations are making this a more difficult process.

This is great to hear. We talked about why we don’t have start/stop on cars in the US a few weeks ago. Glad to see they are still looking at it.

>There is still no official word on a timetable for the forthcoming Mini softroader. This model will bring Mini’s total offerings to four, but McDowell believes that the Mini brand could accommodate six models without issue.

If you are waiting for this MINI, still no word on how much longer you’ll have to.

>U.S. Mini officials “would like to see” a diesel powertrain option in the States that achieves at least 50 miles-per-gallon, but there are no firm plans for anything at this time.

This is something we kept hearing during MTTS as well. Glad to see they are sticking with it.

[ Outlining a Big Future for Mini USA ]