For months we’ve heard rumors of a new MINI model that will slot in underneath the Cooper in the British automakers lineup, but that doesn’t mean the newest and miniest MINI will put fuel economy ahead of fun. Inside sources are reporting that this new city car will get a high-powered John Cooper Works (JCW) edition.
At roughly 10 feet long the new MINI (Minor?) will compete with vehicles like the Smart fortwo and upcoming Toyota/Scion iQ. Powering the car will be a turbocharged 3-cylinder (likely a 1.5-liter), which is part of a new range of 3-cylinder engines BMW is producing to deliver both fuel economy and power. These engines are also expected to power the next-generation of Cooper models and in 1.5-liter turbo form should produce around 150-hp.
Along with a naturally low curb weight, this new model will get typical JCW upgrades like a stiffer and lower suspension, unique wheels and aerodynamics.
A concept version of the new smaller MINI could be unveiled as early as the Geneva Auto Show in March.