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New MINIs More Fuel Efficient; TurboDiesel and Smaller Gasoline Engine Coming in 2007

The new MINI Cooper.

BMW has provided some initial detail on the two new, more fuel-efficient engines to be featured in the latest generation of the MINI. Upon their arrival on the market in late 2006, the new MINIs will initially offer two versions of a 1.6-liter engine—one naturally aspirated, the other a turbocharged direct-injection unit.

These will be augmented by a new 1.4-liter gasoline unit and a turbodiesel, both arriving in the first half of 2007.

The 1.6-liter naturally aspirated unit in the MINI Cooper develops maximum output of 88 kW (120 hp) at 6,000 rpm. Engine torque reaches 140 Nm (103 lb-ft) at just 2,000 rpm, peaking at 160 Nm (118 lb-ft) once the engine reaches 4,250 rpm.

The four-cylinder engine features fully variable valve control based on the BMW Group’s VALVETRONIC valve management system, which adjusts intake valve lift and opening times within fractions of a second to current power and performance requirements.

In addition to variable control of valve lift on the intake side, valve timing may also be changed in both the intake and outlet stroke, optimizing the torque curve and the development of engine power in the process. The result is not only powerful torque at low engine speeds, but also high power at high speeds.

Together, these two technologies reduce fuel consumption, depending on the route the driver is covering, by up to 20%, with fuel consumption in the combined EU cycle down by approximately 16% to 5.8 l/100km (41 mpg US) from 6.9 l/100km (34 mpg US). CO2 emissions on the MINI Cooper are now 139g/km.

The turbocharged version, used in the MINI Cooper S, develops maximum output of 128 kW (175 hp) at 5,500rpm. Peak torque of 240 Nm (177 lb-ft) is maintained consistently between 1,600 and 5,000 rpm. When accelerating all-out, torque is raised to an even higher level of 260 Nm (192 lb-ft) by briefly increasing charge pressure (overboost).

Intake air for the direct-injection engine is pre-compressed by a twin-scroll turbocharger complete with intercooler. With this new technology, the ducts of two cylinders at a time are separated from one another in the exhaust gas manifold and in the turbocharger itself.

This particular configuration enhances turbocharger response and almost completely eliminates the usual turbo gap, according to BMW, which claims that the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine is very similar in its response and behaviour to a much larger normal-aspiration power unit.

Two overhead camshafts operate the four valves per cylinder. The camshaft on the intake side comes with infinitely variable phase adjustment setting valve timing to current power requirements and optimizing both engine output and torque on minimum fuel consumption and emissions. The outlet valves, in turn, are filled with sodium in order to set off the higher temperature loads typical of a turbocharged engine.

Combined EU cycle fuel consumption for the MINI Cooper S have dropped 25% to 6.9 l/100km (34 mpg US) from 8.6 l/100km (27 mpg US). CO2 emissions on the MINI Cooper S are now 164g/km—a reduction of 43g/km.

Both engines use a volume flow-controlled oil pump driven by a chain and limited in its delivery volume as of a certain, predetermined pressure level. This reduces the power required for driving the pump and cuts back fuel consumption by approximately 1%.

The on-demand water pump in the coolant circuit is only activated when the engine has reached its regular operating temperature. This helps to save fuel in the warm-up phase, and the catalyst is able to reach the temperature required for optimum operation with an optimum effect at an earlier point.

The alternator and air conditioning compressor, in turn, are driven by one single poly-V-belt. The water pump is driven by a friction wheel.

BMW will issue full specifications and technical details in September at the Paris motor show.

1.6-Liter Engines for New MINIs
MINI CooperMINI Cooper S
Engine Naturally aspirated Turbocharged, direct injection
Peak Power 88 kW (120 hp) 128 kW (175 hp)
Peak Torque 160 Nm (118 lb-ft) 240 Nm (177 lb-ft)
Fuel Consumption 5.8 l/100km (41 mpg US) 6.9 l/100km (34 mpg US)
CO2 139 g/km 164 g/km




Have you seen/driven a modern European diesel? ie Euro market ones not US market ones?

Your comments are ill informed if not.


Mini? Have a peek at PML's converted Mini.

With its in-wheel motors it is as fast as the Tesla roadster, has high mileage 65-80 MPG (as good as the Honda Insight), can drive for 4 hours on batteries only, and 1000km on gas.

Although the Honda Insight looks like a sportscar, it is much slower than this Mini.
Honda stopped producing its Insight, but will introduce new high mileage cars probably with in-wheel electric motors, just like Mitsubishi and Toyota.

But this British Mini shows the way...


The old Mini D has not even hit the EURO 4 emission standard. So what? The BMW guys lost their confidence and rather hide the exhaust pipe. Do I need to say more?

Of coures, fuel consumption is a matter, but a modern gasoline turbo charged engine comes close to the efficency of the best diesel. All the TDI driver experience a turbo car, but mostly do not realize it. They think, it has somethink to do with the diesel. The point is torque not "pony power"!

A clean cost effective gasonline turbo engine is a nice way to reduce fuel consuption. But it means down seizing too. But imagine the conservative Bimmer, Buick or Merc driver, who has to commit driving an efficent 1.6 Turbo gasoline (E316?). His friends will start laughing. That his car might have the torque and power of an typical v6 twice as big won´t be heared.

A clean diesel is nice too, but you can´t buy one nowadays! Or is this one the clean diesel someone recommended?

I would like to know why the car makers do not deliver diesel cars,which are as clean as gasoline cars? No responsibility?
Furthermore, I can not understand these TDI drivers, who do not care about air pollution.

Anyway, there is no diesel-Mini in the US. So, anything is alright.

Charles S

I am getting tired of the Hybrid v. Diesel argument.

So do I, that's why I hate bringing it up. Now, back to being off topic...

Energy independence is high on my list. Biodiesel and ethanol sounds good on paper, but as many have already pointed out, there just isn't enough of it. If third-world country have to clear-cut their lands and erode their soil for a few bucks in seed oil, it's not much a solution and we are still dependent on foreign sources to sustain our economy.

I do not know if Europe import regular diesel or not, but if EU passes a law like US that requires n% of bio-fuel, then they, too, could end up with importing biodiesel. This is why I'm not so sure biodiesel is really the "answer" to our energy needs.

I think there is a place, even a necessity, for bio-fuels, but we need to strike a correct balance. At this time, I'd rather see biofuels be used exclusively by gov't and municipalities, and keep the prices steady. This will shield local gov't budgets from spikes in fuel, and keep the biofuel industry from collapsing, if/when gas prices comes back down. Let the biofuel industry matures a little before we go crazy and try to convince farmers to change crops, or importing crops for fuel.

As for diesel engines, let's make it an industrial fuel, and keep it that way. Like the biofuels example above, it's better for all if diesel prices/supplies are steady, rather than adding more strain by adding truckheads and racers to the mix. Urban air quality is already bad enough, why add more polluting (still pollutes more than the best petro engine) vehicles to the mix?

If consumer has a choice between an SULEV Prius versus a Tier II Jetta TDI, which both cost just about the same for now, which is better? For my reasons, I'd put my money on a Prius every time. When 2009 comes, and PHEV Prius is available, and a new TDI gets better than Tier II emissions and cheaper, I'd STILL rather support technologies that support MY goal and beliefs.

Charles S

By the way, I have a question about "Black Smoke" and emissions standards for diesel.

I know that newer diesel runs well without appearent black smoke, but more than once, I've seen quite a few NEW Jetta TDI spewing black smoke, and/or having a "black circle" around the tailpipe. I read up on the matter and I guess this means that owners of these new TDIs are stepping on the pedal too hard.

I have to assume that during these moments, the emissions from these diesels are no longer "clean" and probably pollute worse than a Tier II bin whatever standard. Am I correct in this? If this is the case, do emission standards account for such instances? I know that my local emission testing station only test the tailpipe when the vehicle is idle.


I guess ignorance is bliss here.

So you'll ignore the fact that any car when the pedal is pressed down far enough ignores emissions and goes off of a set table of values to compute engine operation IE emissions be damned this guy wants to go.

Also when you talk about about how at 300k a diesel engine is just as good as the day it was bought with proper maintenance whereas the hybrid, well there is a good chance it would need an overhaul somewhere after 200k.

Batteries don't last forever, even if they have finite discharge and charge cycle.

Joseph Willemssen

Also when you talk about about how at 300k a diesel engine is just as good as the day it was bought with proper maintenance whereas the hybrid, well there is a good chance it would need an overhaul somewhere after 200k.

Um, any good car with "proper maintenance" should last a good long time. So where are you getting this arbitrary number with respect to hybrids?

Batteries don't last forever, even if they have finite discharge and charge cycle.

Things don't last forever? You don't say!

Have you writen any articles chastising Dell for putting wasting 4 million batteries in one shot?

Charles S

I'm asking if diesel deserve to be called "clean" when just pushing the engine ends up causing it to spew black smoke. If gasoline does the same thing, fine, but let's talk about the levels between gas versus diesel.

Why when something negative about diesel is mentioned, suddenly it's default back about how efficient a diesel can be... or how long a diesel engine can last? By the way, just because a diesel may POSSIBLY be more durable, it doesn't mean that it is such a "wonderful" thing. Most decades old cars are far inferior to today's counterparts. Some crush like a bear can in a wreck, most are far more inefficient, and most may never pass future emission standards.

Even if the engine last a million miles, the rest of the car probably would not. Trust me, most people are not willing to spend much money to fix the rest of the car, if the engine is the only good thing left.

I know that people used to be "impressed" with how many miles an engine can last, but with so many makes and models of used and new cars to choose from, I don't think that is the case any more.

Out of curiousity, I look up kbb and find that 1986 VW Golf diesel with 96,000 miles is worth roughly about $575. Well, diesel-fans, there's your chance to pick up one, or maybe two, and you're set for the rest of your life! You will never have to buy another car again! ^_^


It's not a possibility diesel engines do last longer because they are built stronger by default.

200k is a guess yes but when you look at any gasoline engine performance does decline with age and more wear items to get in the way of reliability. A hybrid is just an extreme way of complicating matters.

A diesel is far more simple in design and operation but like anything else it has it's pitfalls but not mechanically. Like most engines today electronics get in the way more then a mechanical design does.

No Americans have a mindset that anything after 100k is bust, can't blame us though when the car dealers want you to trade in your car for no better reason then to get something new.

Also to answer your question, we for sometime have had to deal with substandard quality in fuel gasoline & diesel alike. Ever smell sulphur behind a car, one chance could be a failed cat, the other gasoline with a lot of sulphur. Diesel is the same way and only recently has action been taken to finally bring us inline with european standards if not better.

Soot is the black out of the tail pipe, produced from the excess sulphur and slight overfueling of the car as it lurches foward. Sulphur is still the big culprit though.

Biodiesel in my car personally seemed to completely eliminate even in a 50/50 mix with regualr diesel.

Since ULSD is relitively the same in sulphur content I can only speculate the same.

I am actually awaiting it, it has a higher cetane level then the current LSD stuff and should make my car smoother for a tiny sacrifice in HP.

If came off bad at first I apologize but I see no reason to attack diesel for being better at burning the fuel at hand and now that is has better quality(or will) the environment will only benefit.

Charles S

Since no one really address my original question, I finally found an old article about the new emission tests that goes along with introduction of Tier 2 standards. I guess there is a test that includes some "hard stepping" of the vehicle to test emission at such levels.

I would have to assume that if current TDI is allow to puff out the occasional soot, it would mean that it is still within the standard.

Thermo, your explaination is different from what I've read about the origins of the black smoke. Most sites explained that it is the result of unburn fuel, when the engine is pushed too hard. Perhaps that answer is only applicable to older diesel engines.

In any case, it seems that emission standards are only required up to 120K miles. I guess that is where the yearly inspections comes into play. I'll have to read up on that and see at what level each state set for its minimum.


You are right, it is primarily unburned fuel.

However in a TDI the ECU does anything it can to prevent smoke within it's realm.

DIY guys actually decrease the amount of fuel injected when they hotrod because of this. VW defined a smoke map so the ECU knows at what fuel and what air ratio the thing will start puffing.

Big rigs & construction equipment don't employ that nor care to right now. Black to them is just a fact of life. This can also be said about some consumer trucks (Duramax, Cummins, Powerstroke) but recently the EPA is harping on them too. So they are starting to tune to eliminate it. Granted every diesel has a chance of making it, good fuel(Bio/ULSD) & good controls can prevent it.

We can't do anything about the guys with power adders (chips, injectors, etc.) but the same can be said for muscle car guys or any gasoline car that runs catless.

I know one aftermarket chip manufactor Rocketchip goes a long way to prevent smoke.


Some facts to the black smoke or soot:

That the companies tried to achive in the recent years was just to make the soot "invisible". With higher injection preassure the engine produces very fine parts of soot instead of the "big" ones in the older diesel engines. Out of sight, out of mind!

The problem is that these fine soot is profoundly carcinogenic. The finer the soot the more dangerous for your health. Even some car companies advertise an electrostatic-filter or activated carbon-filter in their A/C system (and in the same shop theysell diesel cars!). Nice sollution, isn´t it?

The next problem is limiting the amount of soot per g/mi is nonsens. Few big parts are less problematic than a lot of small parts.

And even with particulate filters you can´t eliminate the very fine (and dangerous) small parts.

An EURO 4 diesel emmitts 15 times more carcinogenic emmissions than an EURO 4 patrol engine.

The diesel engine has only one purpose: To sell as much "weight" as possible without coming down to e.g. 10mpg.

So, I understand why Mr. Mini-Bimmer is hiding the exhaust pipe.

Invent Horsepower - inventhp

It may not be on the market yet, but I think we should demand a hybrid that uses a diesel engine.

When someone wanted to really push one of these cars, there would be electric motors available to accelerate the car. This would allow the diesel engine to respond in a slower cleaner way.


All of this talk is because everyone assumes that if we don't change to a different fuel then the sea waters will rise 20 some feet. Okay i'm not going to deny that global warming isn't a reality but There is one thing that scientists are overlooking. Yes the polar icecaps hold enough water to raise the oceans that much but the ice is displacing its volume in the water. there is no land under it, or very little. Try putting ice in a measuring cup of water filled to 1 cup. when the ice melts the water level doen't rise. in fact it lowers because the disolved gasses in the ice are released into the atmosphere. Futhermore the only way to reverse the the affects of global warming would be to go back to the hourse and buggy days, Oh and stop using electricity since only 10% is produced by wind and solarpanels. The truth is the more advance we as a rase gets the more we consume.


How about the airplanes? Do you know, that any given time during the day somwhere between 5ooo and 35000 commercial, military and private airplanes is flying over country of ours? Do you know that "Jumbo" in just a few minuts flying over small town i US releses more pollution, than the whole town in next week or so... and deliveries right to the sky... Study done in Europe shows, that only 5% car pollution goes to upper atmosfere.. 95% fell back on soil and water... but that different problem... I know, this is just the blog...I can write what I want
Truly yours Cesare

Daniel Redabaugh

Will the diesel version of the MINI be available in the US?

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