2011 Mini family – Click above for high-res image gallery
Packaging any engine into the restrictive area found under the Mini Cooper's bonnet can present a challenge for engineers. For example, Mini engineers managed to shoehorn the newly-released 1.6-liter four-cylinder diesel into the Cooper's tight confines, but it took a lot of coercing as, according to Mini, many of the diesels ancillary components had to be dramatically modified.
Now, Autocar is reporting that BMW's forthcoming three-cylinder engine will eventually find a home in Mini's lineup, but its fitment is questionable. Mini states that the three-cylinder mill will require heavy reworking before residing between the fenders of a model bearing its name, but the company is confident that the engine will find a home in several Mini models. We'd never have thought that dropping a three-cylinder engine into a Mini would present such an issue, but given the vehicle's size, these things can apparently be quite difficult.