Last spring (April 1st no less) we told you about MINI’s plans for using BMW’s 2.0L diesel powerplant in some models. In BMW trim the 2 liter makes as much as 200 bhp and an astonishing 295 ft lb. of torque. While we’d expect MINI to tune down those numbers, the engine mated with MINI’s relatively low weight would create one of the quickest small diesels in the world. In fact we had one of our inside sources confirm the first pre-production date (April 30th) when BMW first mated the engine with a prototype Clubman.

Fast forward seven months and just yesterday we saw our first glimpse of a mysterious diesel prototype R56 on the roads around Munich. It seems obvious to us that what we’re seeing are the first road worthy prototypes of MINI’s first performance diesel model. What remains to be seen is if this is an uprated version of the current 1.6L diesel or the 2.0L BMW diesel we reported on last spring. It’s conceivable that we could see both an “S” and a JCW model based on the 2.0L should BMW decided to go that route. It’s easily tunable to “S” and JCW performance levels awhile being surprisingly efficient (in BMW 123d trim it gets 45 mpg combined). However leveraging the existing 1.6L diesel may be a smarter move for the short term with the 2.0L being saved for the Countryman and a more potent JCW D.


Look for the Cooper S D to go on-sale sometime in late 2010 as a 2011 model. Expected to be released along side the newly refreshed R55, R56, R57 models, the Cooper S D will feature a slightly revised front valance with additional integrated cooling ducts.

Don’t look for this model (or the rumored JCW D) to make it to the US market in the foreseeable future.

Pictures courtesy Diablomotor.com