Over the years many within the American market (MINI’s largest) have lamented the fact that MINI doesn’t offer the incredibly frugal MINI Cooper D. With federalization and CO2 standards where they are, the nails have been placed in the coffin when it comes to a MINI D on US soil. However MINI intends to bring a petrol powerplant to market (with the US included) with shocking efficiency similar to the current Cooper D.

While the three cylinder family of engines we’ve previously reported on will spawn several highly efficient variants (1.3 and 1.5 liters in capacity) today we’re going to focus on the one found in the next Cooper. First MINI will not downgrade output in any of its models. That means we should expect approximately the same power for the Cooper (120hp) and Cooper S (180hp). But with only three cylinders, direct injection and a highly efficient turbo we expect the 120 hp Cooper to achieve just under 50 mpg on the highway in US form.

Beyond MPG we also expect weight and CO2 emissions to be down from their current levels. What the final car will weigh is still anyone’s guess but we’d guess similar if not lower figures than the current car.

But MINI’s new found performance and efficiency doesn’t end there. Look for more information on the rest of the range (including the next Cooper S) in the coming weeks and months.