Mini will launch a new range of more powerful diesels next year, kicking off with a Mini hatch equipped with the engine from a BMW 120d.
Mini’s engineers have successfully managed to fit the BMW four-cylinder engine, designed for a longitudinal application, into the Mini’s engine bay in a transverse installation. The work involved in fitting the BMW engine to the Mini was described by our source as "tricky".
In the test cars the engine is coupled to an automatic transmission, but expect production cars to have a manual gearbox. Stop-start technology is also likely.
The first of the new Mini diesels will have around 150bhp, detuned from the 120d's 177bhp, but sources say it would also be possible to use the more powerful twin-turbo diesel from the 123d in the Mini.
That would create a Mini diesel with over 200bhp, and could form the basis for a John Cooper Works diesel Mini.
The new Mini diesels will enter the pilot build phase this May, when pre-production cars are assembled on a test line at BMW’s HQ in Munich. They are expected to go on sale in 12 months' time, with a possible launch at next year’s Geneva motor show in March.
Mini only has one diesel model, the 110bhp Cooper D, which uses an engine jointly developed with PSA.