Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
October 14, 2013
When the first-generation of the new MINI was introduced back in the early 2000's, it was very simple. There was a three-door hatchback, a convertible, and a long-wheelbase wagon. Come to the second-generation and the family grew. Alongside the three models of the first-generation, MINI added a three-door and five-door crossover, two-seater coupe, and roadster. Now with the third-generation MINI waiting in the wings, there is the possibility of the family growing again.
"With the new ULK architecture, we currently have in mind eight to 10 models," said Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW's board member in charge of Mini to Automotive News Europe.
The ULK architecture Schwarzenbauer is referring to the new front-wheel drive architecture that will underpin the next-generation of MINIs and some upcoming front-drive BMWs. When asked about if the brand will offer direct replacements to their current lineup or introduce new styles, Schwarzenbauer said the company is still thinking about it.
Schwarzenbauer revealed some interesting details concerning powertrains. He said the company is considering whether or not to add diesel engines to the lineup.
"I think that the U.S. market is ready for diesel engines now and this is something we definitely have to consider also for Mini," he said.
Schwarzenbauer also said a plug-in hybrid model is coming. As for electric power, that is currently under investigation.
Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required)