Patrick McKenna, head of Mini's U.S. product strategy, said Thursday during the automaker's Mini Takes The States road rally that the brand is still considering building a diesel model for U.S. customers, but that it has not reached a final decision.

The problem for Mini is apparently deciding if a diesel version will simply divert customers who would have otherwise bought a gas version of the compact car rather than attract new green customers who want to have performance and high fuel economy numbers.

Meanwhile, Mini continues to develop its new gas engines for the next generation models, which McKenna said has produced good results. He declined to give specifics on the engines, only saying that some engines have shown more power than current engines with better fuel economy numbers.

"We have seen such great results with our new three-cylinder and four-cylinder engines, it's difficult to decide if we need to have a diesel engine here," McKenna told Autoblog. "It's a great problem to have."

Diesel owners would likely fit right in with some of the brand's more enthusiastic regular customers. With their devotion to all things Mini, these folks have proven themselves zealous owners during our time on the first two days of the 11-day Mini Takes The States rally. But Mini remains unsure if bringing diesel to the U.S. would be the best use of its limited resources. If they do push forward with an oil burning offering, we suspect it would be on one of its larger, pricier models like the Countryman crossover, which has a higher MSRP that would likely do the best job of absorbing diesel's extra cost while returning the most meaningful mileage improvements.


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  • 55 Comments
      Butsugiri
      • 2 Years Ago
      Dear Mini USA, we have always loved Minis from afar. They look like such great fun and driving a few has confirmed it. But just knowing that the Mini Cooper D is not available in the United States has kept us from signing the sales order (yet). Although a Mini Cooper S might be in our future at some point, we would be in the family already if a Mini Cooper D were available. Just do it!
      Joseph Davis
      • 2 Years Ago
      diesel Mini Cooper SD 55Mpg http://www.gizmag.com/the-new-mini-cooper-sd-d-for-diesel/17773/
      DashRipRock
      • 2 Years Ago
      "The problem for Mini is apparently deciding if a diesel version will simply divert customers who would have otherwise bought a gas version of the compact car rather than attract new green customers"... A diesel would actually make me consider a Mini. If BMW is so worried about "diverting" customers from variants of itself, then why make the half dozen (or however many) ridiculous variants which basically only vary in the roofline? C'mon, the Mini Cooper Coupe? Does that hideous monstrosity actually sell? So go ahead and slap a diesel in that new Paceman.
      bimmerguy
      • 2 Years Ago
      DO IT DO IT DO IT DO IT!!! and bring back the 335d BMW!
      clyogi
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have a 2010 MIni Cooper. I get a blended 24.5 mpg, which is not very good. Hopefully, a diesel will make the car more economical.
        MacProMan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @clyogi
        seems something is wrong with your car if your avg on a base MINI is that low, or you just floor it all the time
      Jerry Teets
      • 2 Years Ago
      A diesel would have me more strongly considering the Mini Countryman. It's not a particularly big car (by non-Mini standards), but only gets rated at about 27 hwy mpg, and by all reports, doesn't usually hit that. I nice diesel rated at 38-40 and getting an actual 35+ would be interesting.
      Ren
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mr. McKenna, I've been waiting to buy a MINI Diesel here in the US ever since I learned of the diesel version. You won't be cannibalizing other MINI sales. Many folks buy MINIs for style and zip, not stellar mileage. You would, however, instantly garner purchases from the folks in the US who love diesels and currently have very limited diesel options, and you'll also gain sales from the 'electric / hybrid / gas miser' model buyers who are presently buying many different makes, but not MINI. I give you my word that if you bring the MINI diesel to the US I will run straight over to Global Imports MINI in Atlanta, GA, sit down with MINI sales rep extraordinaire, Rob C., and trade my paid for BMW Z4 Roadster in on a MINI Diesel. Very truly yours, Ren D.
        Antone Brian Hall
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ren
        i agree with ren. i currently drive a 09 scion tc and i want to upgrade to a mini cooper but have been waiting since i seen the post on autoblog about a diesel powered mini. i would love to convert my into veggie oil.
      Joey Mcfreely
      • 2 Years Ago
      Since volkswaggen forces you to buy several thousand dollars worth of options to get a diesel, I think anyone willing to sell a diesel engine in a small car, without doing what VW does, will see success. (yes I know VW is successful with diesels, but the way they go about it is still stupid.)
        Kumar
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Joey Mcfreely
        Seems that way, but the average car buyer would balk at the price of the diesel engine upgrade alone. The 'package deal' helps hide some of those costs.
      Johnny Ng
      • 2 Years Ago
      Keep that junk in Europe. Diesels pollute the world, are slow and unrefined and have no place in cars. They're only good for trucks and ships and locomotives and that's about it.
        wlouche
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Johnny Ng
        You should update yourself on diesels, some of the fastest race cars in the world.
        Ian
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Johnny Ng
        You clearly have no idea do you... Grow a brain
        aatbloke1967
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Johnny Ng
        Wouldn't it have been easier for you to have said "I have absolutely no knowledge of diesel technology whatsoever" and left it at that? Clueless, simply clueless.
          Joseph Davis
          • 2 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          agree they all just spout what obama and the epa tell them if they really cared about the enviroment they would be planting trees or get out of the industrialized world
        Mr.Roadrage
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Johnny Ng
        "Keep that junk in Europe". Spoken like a true American. I'll tell you what: you keep your cars and we'll keep ours.
        k_m94
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Johnny Ng
        No.
        BaldheadedEDUfreak
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Johnny Ng
        Stats, please? I don't believe you and take you for a troll. Modern diesels are cleaner than their big-vehicle counterparts and can deliver up to 70 mpg in vehicles like the Ford Fiesta a friend owns in Istanbul. Now that the EU will move to US-style standards for emissions, I say to Mini "bring on the D!" I will buy another car in 2014--and it will be a diesel model. I'd love it to be a Mini. Except for the electrical gremlins, our '02 Jetta would still be our diesel.
      A P
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good lord the last thing the US needs is more particulates in its air. Gas engines are much cleaner (no particulates). Cars dont need diesels. Trucks and SUVs that tow are another story. Diesel fuel is LESS efficient when you factor in that it takes more energy to make diesel than gasoline. Add to the fact that diesels cost more to buy and costs more at the pump and there is very little reason for them in cars. Again the main reason they are so popular in Europe is tax policy forcing people to buy them. Change the tax policy and diesel sales would drop like crazy.
        k_m94
        • 2 Years Ago
        @A P
        You again. I don't know, Europeans thoroughly enjoy their diesels with nobody holding a gun to their heads.
        tom66f
        • 2 Years Ago
        @A P
        Diesel used to be much less expensive ( I am talking 80's) Diesel requires less distillation then gasoline, additionally you can dilute it with biofuel much more efficiently then making ethanol from grain. Had a diesel Chevette, got it cheap of the dealers used lot ran it for years as my commuter car instead of my 1 ton Diesel truck.
        aatbloke1967
        • 2 Years Ago
        @A P
        AP's post above is unbridled, absolute bollocks. A number of countries in mainland continental Europe tax diesel with lower rates of excise duty than petrol, however this does not apply to all of Europe and since the mid 1990s, diesels have become just as performance oriented as petrol equivalents and far better to drive thanks to greater torque and flexible gearing. In the UK, diesel fuel costs more than unleaded petrol and diesel sales continue to grow, accounting for some 50% of new car sales. Whatsmore, diesel models command greater residuals too. AP - Europeans aren't "forced" to buy anything. There's nothing worse than a grossly misinformed American without any experience to back up his/her claims.
          A P
          • 2 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          Tax policy indeed forces people to buy things the government wants them to buy. Oh and you forget to say (what a surprise) that taxes are also much higher on bigger displacement engines. SO people are indeed FORCED to buy diesels since a small diesel engine wont be as woefully short on power on the low end. Taxation is a tool to keep people in line........just like all of the cameras in the streets of the UK. Big brother watching what you do and tax policy forcing you what to buy.
          aatbloke1967
          • 2 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          AP - the vast majority of Europe ratified the Kyoto protocol - you know, the one GW Bush proclaimed wasn't in America's best interests. Consequently, in 2012 the average American uses almost three times as much oil per capita than the average European, despite the fact that most annual mileages are broadly the same. Taxation is a tool to generate governmental revenue. And Europeans aren't forced into buing anything ... indeed, one can buy a petrol-electric hybrid in Europe. But hybrids aren't as powerful as diesels nor are they as good to drive. European countries phased out annual registration and company car tax charges based on cyclinder capacity during the 1990's, instead adopting a system based on CO2 emissions. This was detrimental to diesels to begin with, but during that time many diesels now compete with petrol engines in this regard. For example, in the UK if your car emits less than 100g/km of CO2, your annual registration costs are free. At the other end of the scale, if it emits over 250g/km, the annual registration cost is approximately US $1,100. Why? Because unchecked, motoring emissions are harmful to the environment and as a result, if you want a heavy polluting vehicle you pay more to use it. That's simply common sense and social responsibility. I'm not a fan of CCTV, however they do a great deal to combat crime. If you really wat to talk about lack of freedoms, we could go into how in the US you can't legally drink alcohol until you're 21 or how a nanosecond shot of Janet Jackson's breast resulted in censoreship of live television. But you don't really want to venture alone that road, do you? My advice to ou, kiddo ... get a career and spend several years living in Europe. Those Americans I know who have done just that loved it, and a good number many chose to stay indefinitely.
      guyverfanboy
      • 2 Years Ago
      The more diesels available stateside the better!
      Nowuries
      • 2 Years Ago
      MINI/BMW--If you bring a solid, fun, economical diesel to your car (without a crazy price increase), I would divert my wife's intent from a Fiat 500 to your car... bring it!!
        MacProMan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nowuries
        If you don't mind me asking, what's so cool about the Fiat? I was not impressed after driving one...
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