As gas prices to rise and automakers develop more fuel efficient vehicles, spurred on by CAFE requirements, all kinds of new developments are underway.
At MINI, one proposal is to bring a diesel version of the Cooper S across the pond, powered by BMW's 141 hp 2.0-liter oil burning four. However, stricter emissions requirements, mandating the need for Urea injection, soon nixed the idea on the grounds of cost.
Now, it would appear that instead, future U.S. bound MINI will get a line of 1.5-liter three-cylinder engines and possibly a plug-in hybrid powertrain. As far the latter is concerned, MINI will partner up with Getrag to produce it and this will likely be a plug-in system, designed to extend the vehicle's range on electric power alone.
According to Bimmerfile.com, if it does materialize at all, the hybrid driveline will be relegated MINI's larger models, such as the Countryman (shown above), where the benefits of hybrid technology will likely reap the greatest rewards in terms of fuel economy savings. The hybrid driveline will also probably be shared with BMWs smaller SUVs, such as the X1 and possibly the X3 to maximize return on development costs.
More: BMW/MINI to Share Hybrid Powertrain Technology