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By Drew Johnson

The hot hatch segment is about to get a little more clattery as our spy photographers have just sent us the first images of MINI’s upcoming performance diesel model, the Cooper S-based SD.

Although the MINI Cooper is now offered with two different diesel engine option, neither model really stirs the soul, focusing in overall economy rather than all-out performance. However, that will soon change as MINI is planning a new model based on its performance-minded Cooper S model.

Dubbed the MINI Cooper SD – as clearly seen on this prototype’s rear end – the new diesel model will combine the best attributes of the Cooper S with the added frugality of a diesel engine. Our sources have indicated the Cooper SD will be powered BMW’s 2.0L turbo diesel, generating 141 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque. Handling should be much improved over other MINI diesel models, thanks to a suspension borrowed from the Cooper S.

Although the Cooper SD will initially be reserved for European consumption, there is a chance it could make it to our shores. MINI has yet to make a finally ruling on a diesel-powered model for the U.S., but the SD could be just the vehicle to lead that charge.



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kick ass!!! The new 1.6L diesel to be used in MINIs is derived from the BMW 2.0L block used in the 116d 118d 120d and 123d, so it might be easy to adapt the 2.0 to a FWD application.

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