BMW-owned Mini is considering diesel variants for the U.S. along with definite plans for a plug-in hybrid gas version as it also contemplates feasibility for battery electric models.
This news came out of a one-on-one interview with Automotive News Europe and Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW’s board member in charge of Mini.
Presently European consumers opt for 41 percent of diesels, and while their value proposition is not as clear in the United States, Americans are increasingly requesting diesels in premium German cars, and Schwarzenbauer said Mini knows it.
“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.
But perhaps of more interest is the prospect going electric which not only improves mpg, it is cleaner in emissions.
“There will be electrification within the Mini brand, including a plug-in hybrid for certain,” said Schwarzenbauer. “We’re still investigating pure EVs.”
Last year Mini sold a record 301,000 units and the company is expanding its manufacturing and product line. It intends to offer in the near term as many as eight to 10 engine varieties including a surprisingly quick three-cylinder.
And it will receive trickle down from BMW’s new UKL (from the German words Unter Klasse) architecture – a front-wheel-drive design to be shared with entry-level BMWs
Schwarzenbauer did not elaborate further on electrification, but his confirmation should be taken as a cue to watch for more news on yet another respected global brand to head toward plugging in.