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Diesel hot hatches have always been a bit of an oddity – one would think that a big, heavy diesel engine would throw off the superb balance and lightweight that are the hallmarks of most front-wheel-drive hot hatchbacks, but the MINI Cooper SD is one diesel hot hatch that deserves the benefit of the doubt after seeing it at the Geneva Auto Show.
While the regular Cooper S isn’t quite a featherweight, the car’s reflexes would have you believe that it weighs as much as an empty coffee cup. While the 2.0L turbo diesel only puts out 143 horsepower, its 225 lb-ft of torque is greater than even a tuned-to-the-gills Cooper S JCW’s output, giving the car plenty of useable power in the lower end of the rev range.
MINI claims a 0-60 sprint of between 8.1 seconds for a Cooper SD to 9.4 seconds for a Countryman SD. Even more astonishing are the fuel economy figures – anywhere from 57.6 mpg to 65 mpg (on the European cycle). To put that in perspective, you can theoretically return Prius-like economy with a small performance trade-off.
Gallery: MINI Cooper SD and Countryman SD
MINI has confirmed the launch of a new SD line of performance diesels for all of its models. Using a new 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine, the oil burner will deliver 143-hp and a significant 225 ft-lbs of torque at from 1750 rpm. This new diesel engine sits above the current Cooper D with 112-hp.
The SD trim will be available on the Cooper, Convertible, Clubman and Countryman and use added fuel-saving technology as well, including brake energy regeneration, an auto start-stop system and electric power steering. In addition, it will get features like a detachable alternator to cut drag on the engine.
With a focus on performance and fuel economy, MINI rates the Cooper SD at a 0-62 mph time of 8.1 seconds and 4.3 l/100 km (55-mpg); the Cooper SD Clubman at 8.6 seconds to 62-mph and 4.4 l/100 km (54-mpg); the Cooper SD Convertible at 8.7 second to 62-mph and 4.5 l/100 km (52-mpg) and finally the Cooper SD Countryman at 9.3 seconds to 62-mph (9.4 seconds with ALL4 AWD) and a 4.6 l/100 km rating (51-mpg), or 4.9 l/100 km (48-mpg)
MINI has been quiet on if we are to expect any of these models in the U.S. and if we do, the Countryman is the likely candidate.
AutoGuide will be on hand for the launch of the vehicles in Geneva. Until then, see our Geneva Auto Show Preview here.
GALLERY: MINI Cooper SD
GALLERY: MINI Cooper SD Countryman
Powered by a 2.0-liter BMW turbo-diesel, the car should make around 143-hp and a more robust 225 ft-lbs of torque.
But there’s more.
MINI will reportedly introduce the more potent diesel powerplan in all of its models in Geneva, meaning you’ll be able to get the convertible, Clubman and Countryman with this same engine.
Styling for the cars is expected to stay similar to the S models, as will much of the content, with MINI promoting the new line as performance diesels.
See AutoGuide’s complete 2011 Geneva Auto Show Preview here.