It's no secret that BMW, like many other automakers, is working on smaller three cylinder engines for its future products to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Some of those engines will go into the next generation of Mini products and the goal is to provide a significant improvement in fuel economy without sacrificing performance.

The new Mini engines will incorporate much of the same technology that exists today in the high performance John Cooper Works edition. The 208 horsepower JCW uses direct injection and a twin-scroll turbocharger to extra extra power from the 1.6-liter four-cylinder. The three-cylinder will likely have a 1.2-liters of displacement with 120 and 180 hp for the Cooper and Cooper S. The next-gen Cooper which will probably arrive in 2012 and will likely be rated around 50 mpg on the highway, similar to the current Mini Cooper D available in Europe.

[Source: Motoring File]