As we reported a few weeks back BMW has determined that the way forward with the MINI brand isn’t through partnerships with outside companies (Fiat was rumored for quite some time) but through internal component sharing with the next generation BMW 1 Series.

Through our work at BimmerFile we know that the next generation 1 will be designed on a very flexible chasis that should accommodate this. However it’s the next generation BMW engines that really tell an interesting story. According to our sources at BimmerFile, BMW will be introducing a new range of small and effecient four and three cylinder engines for both the 1 and 3 series. Now our sources are telling us that the smallest of these powerplants will find their way into the next generation MINI.

However the story isn’t just about efficiency. It’s true that the 3 cylinder powerplants will be developed using BMW’s Motorrad division (the part of the company responsible for BMW motorcycles) but several of these new engines will also come with eye opening power and torque outputs thanks to advanced turbocharging technology. Through our sources at BimmerFile we’ve confirmed that the list published in Auto Motor und Sport is legit. We’ve bolded what we believe may make it into the Next Generation MINI.

1.35 liters I3, 122 hp/190Nm (140 ft lbs)
– 1.35 liters I3, 150 hp/220Nm (162 ft lbs)
– 1.35 liters I3, 180 hp/260Nm (192 ft lbs)
1.80 liters I4, 204 hp/300Nm (221 ft lbs)
– 1.80 liters I4, 240 hp/350Nm (258 ft lbs)

Does this mean that future Cooper and Cooper S models will be three cylinders? It’s too early to tell how MINI will market these engines but they’d be fools not to use them in some capacity with increasing fuel prices and more stringent environmental regulations becoming a reality in the coming years throughout the world.

Not seen here are BMW (and MINI’s) next generation diesel options. With news that MINI will be transitioning over to the incredible 2.0L BMW diesel powerplant (found in 123d) later this year, we should expect a range of BMW diesels to be heading to MINI. Also not seen here is an ultra efficient petrol powerplant below the 100 hp level. We wouldn’t be surprised to see something along those lines pop-up in conjunction with BMW’s Megacity project (which, as a side note, sources have confirmed to us won’t be marketed as a MINI – at least in the US).

All this means that MINI will be expanding the engine line-up and offering up some pretty impressive efficiency and performance figures in the next generation car.