Mini diesels may be on way to U.S.

Mini might fit diesels on the platform used for the 2014 Cooper hardtop.
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Mini is considering offering diesels in the United States.

The new front-wheel-drive platform used for the 2014 Mini Cooper hardtop -- and shared with the upcoming BMW 2-series Active Tourer -- allows for different powertrain options, including hybrids and U.S.-spec diesels.

All other Mini models, including the just-face-lifted 2015 Countryman and Paceman, are built on older platforms. While they are available as diesels in Europe and elsewhere, they cannot be fitted with a diesel in the United States because an SCR (selective catalytic reduction) filter and urea tank are required here for emissions.

"Fitting them with a diesel would provide packaging problems," said Pat McKenna, Mini's U.S. product planning chief. But he said diesels are being considered for the next-generation Countryman, which is expected to arrive in about three years.

It will use a stretched variation of the same platform that underpins the 2014 Mini Cooper.

You can reach Jens Meiners at jmeiners@crain.com.


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