Contrary to the myth that U.S. buyers don’t want diesels, MINI head Dr. Kay Segler reports that diesel MINI models are the most common request from its U.S. customers.
Segler told Car and Driver that, “We’re delighted to hear it,” before confirming that the brand is seriously looking into the possibility of importing diesels into the United States.
Don’t expect this to happen with the current, second-generation MINIs, since Segler admits that U.S. diesel models are a “medium term” consideration, not a short term one.
If that sounds vaguely ambiguous, there’s probably a good reason for it. At the moment, emission standards for diesel passenger cars differ between the U.S. and the E.U., but that changes in 2014 when the E.U. adopts the current (stricter) U.S. standard.
The MINI diesel sold in Europe is powered by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbodiesel that produces 143 horsepower and 225 pound-feet of torque. In European cycle testing, which can be up to 20 percent optimistic, the car yields fuel economy of 54.7 mpg.
We’re big fans of diesel motors, and are confident the diesel MINI would sell well in the United States. We don’t expect to see it any sooner than 2014, but it sounds like the car will be worth the wait.