MINI Diesels Spied, Could be on Sale in U.S. Next Year


America needs more diesels. They get great fuel mileage and tend to require less work than traditional petrol engines… plus they sound freakin’ sweet when coupled with turbochargers. And they make gobs and gobs of torque. I love torque.

I also love the MINI. These spy photos show a MINI mule being tested with a diesel engine, and BMW has been saying for some time that they are considering a diesel MINI for the U.S. market. Even better, there might be a twin turbo version with over 200 horsepower. Super. Freakin’. Sweet.

These spy photos show a MINI rocking a non-functional hood scoop, which is kind of silly. How difficult is it to make a real hood scoop these days? Luckily, a version sans the hood scoop has been spotted running about too. But besides the silly scoop, there is a revised front bumper, and that all-important diesel engine under the hood.

BMW sourced the engine from their 118d car, which, in case you don’t know, is a longitudinal engine. That means it runs front to back, powering the real wheels via a driveshaft. BMW’s engineers had to adapt the engine to run transversely to power the MINI’s front wheels. The only thing that could make a MINI cooler is rear-wheel drive, but I guess that wish will go unfulfilled for now.

But in lieu of rear-wheel drive, two turbochargers will suffice. A diesel engine could find its way into both the Cooper, and the Clubman. Supposedly, BMW found a way to stick the twin turbo version of the diesel found in the 123 into the MINI. That would make a MINI with over 200 horsepower, and 295 ft-lbs of torque… nice. Badass. MINI has a storied performance history, and the John S Cooper Works version in America currently boasts a healthy 208 horsepower. Still, I’m looking forward to a diesel version to take it all to the next level… still waiting for rear-wheel drive though.

I won’t hold my breath.

Source: Autocar | Images: Carpix

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.