Mini has shifted to become fully integrated into the BMW family, and will grow to include 10 individual models. Mini’s traditional three-door hatchback will be the first of the Mk3 Minis to arrive before the end of next year, and go on sale in 2013. The other nine new Mini’s will be lauched by the middle of the decade, to include a new Clubman estate as well as an all-new MPV.
The next-gen Mini family will be based on the BMW engineered platform called the UKL1. BMW recently invested £500 million to convert the Cowley, Oxfordshire plant to accommodate the new platform. This platform will utilize front-wheel drive, will come in two wheelbase lengths, and is based around MacPherson strut front suspension with BMW’s Z-axle rear end.
Most of the Mk3 Mini lineup will be powered by BMW’s highly advanced three-cylinder engines. This new engine will supposedly be just as powerful as the existing Mini four-cylinder, but will cost less. Power will range to span 120-hp to 160-hp. The UKL1 will also use 2.0-liter four cylinder BMW engines, capable of producing 230-hp. This engine will most likely be utilized in the John Cooper Works model.
The UKL1 platform will also offer both four-wheel drive and at least one type of hybrid drivetrain. The UKL1 platform will be offered in a range of different bodies including a three-door and five-door hatchback, a super compact SUV and a tall 5-series GT-style car.
[Source: Auto Car]