According to Mini Vice President Jim McDowell, Mini is considering a diesel engine for the U.S. market by 2010 or 2011. He said that the diesels that Mini currently offers in other markets do not meet U.S. clean-air regulations so Americans will have to weight until the BMW brand comes out with a next-generation diesel engine that will be approved for all 50 states.
Speaking to USA Today, McDowell cautioned that the move is “not certain.” He said that when and if a diesel becomes a reality for the U.S. it will be offered as an option across its range. That includes the Mini Cooper hatchback, convertible, Clubman and the upcoming Mini SUV.
Pricing is another factor that Mini will study closely. McDowell says that current Mini Cooper buyers end up going “out the door with $4,000” in options.
The current Mini Cooper Diesel sold in other markets averages a combined fuel-economy of 32 mpg combined. Bosch is also testing a modified version of the car in the U.S. and reports a fuel-economy in excess of 60 mpg.