Mini Exec: Up to 10 models in Future, Plug-in Hybrid Certain, Diesel Possible
A BMW board member in charge of Mini has clued us in on what we can expect in the coming years for Mini. In an interview with Automotive News Europe, Peter Schwarzenbauer said Mini could eventually have between eight to 10 models. The automaker currently has seven variants, and Schwarzenbauer suggested that it was possible some of the existing models could be replaced.Mini is currently adding capacity beyond its main plant in Oxford, England, which may be a sign of further production to come. The automaker recently has signed a long-term partnership with a Dutch plant for added capacity, as Mini will also be using BMW's new front-wheel architecture, intended for entry-level compact models like a future BMW 1 Series. Interestingly, Scwarzenbauer said a plug-in hybrid was a certainty in Mini's future. "There will be electrification within the Mini brand, including a plug-in hybrid for certain. We're still investigating pure EVs." And with diesel presence growing—diesel market leader Volkswagen and premium German automakers such as Mercedes-Benz and Audi have seen strong growth in the U.S.—Mini will explore the 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." In the much nearer term, the automaker will unveil the next-generation Mini Cooper on November 18 in Oxford, England. Source: Automotive News Europe (subscription required)
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