Mini is about to enter a new era. Future models will be based on parent BMW's new UKL front-wheel-drive architecture, which will be shared with entry-level BMWs. Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW's board member in charge of Mini, talked about product plans with Automotive News Europe Editor Luca Ciferri.
Q: How many Mini variants will there be in the future?
A: With the new ULK architecture, we currently have in mind eight to 10 models.
Will all seven current Mini derivatives be replaced, and do you have some fresh ideas for future Mini buyers?
Both options are possible right now.
Will Mini sell electric cars or leave that niche to the BMW i subbrand?
There will be electrification within the Mini brand, including a plug-in hybrid for certain. We're still investigating pure EVs.
Roughly how many Minis are diesels? And is diesel just for Europe?
Diesel accounts for 41 percent of our European sales. On a global basis, this share drops to 24 percent.
U.S. demand for diesels in German premium cars is rising. What will Mini do to take advantage of this trend?
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.