The makers of the beloved Mini Cooper are planning to debut a diesel version in 2010 or 2011.
The goal, according to Feb. 9 editions of USA Today, is to market a “fuel-efficient engine appealing to mileage-minders and enthusiasts alike.”
Mini Coopers sold in other markets already offer diesels, but “meeting U.S. clean-air regulations is daunting and has kept those engines off the market here,” the story said. Mini Vice President Jim McDowell confirmed to USA Today that the plan is under consideration, but cautioned against certainty.
If it does come to fruition, a U.S.-version of the diesel Mini would use a new-generation clean-diesel engine rather than a modified version of the overseas diesel, McDowell told the paper, which added that diesels get 20% to 40% better fuel economy than similar gasoline engines but that diesel’s higher price in the U.S. “wipes out” some cost savings.
Another potential sticking point is that the Mini Cooper already has great mileage, average of 28/37 miles per gallon for city and highway driving respectively, so McDowell told USA Today that any diesel engine would need to reach further.
Overall, the U.S.-appetite for diesels has been mixed so far, with Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen selling them successfully for years in America but Honda pulling back on plans late last year to concentrate on hybrids and small cars, USA Today said.
This article was submitted by Kathleen O’Connor, a contributing writer for Biz2Credit. Biz2Credit is a small business marketplace that provides entrepreneurs with the latest industry news and financial advice. Send all questions to email@example.com.