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Next MINI Could Get 10 Variants, Plug-In Hybrid Option

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The next-generation of BMW's MINI subcompact could spawn as many as ten different variants following its arrival next year.

In an interview with Automotive News, BMW's board member in charge of MINI, Peter Schwartzenbauer, suggested that "eight to ten models" could be built from the car's new ULK platform, also set to spawn a small number of front-wheel drive BMWs.

The existing MINI range features seven models, available in various markets. The hatchback is the mainstay of the MINI range, but the Convertible, Clubman, Coupe, Roadster, Countryman and Paceman have expanded the range far beyond its origins.

Until recently, the Clubvan commercial vehicle was also a part of that range in the U.S, but was discontinued following low sales. It lives on in other markets.

It's likely the existing lineup of MINIs will be replaced to some extent, but it's less clear what the other variants might be. Schwartzenbauer told Automotive News that BMW is "still investigating" pure electric cars, but a plug-in hybrid model will be available "for certain".

Diesel too will play a part. 41 percent of European MINI sales are diesels, a figure that remains as high as 24 percent globally. Schwartzenbauer wouldn't confirm whether any diesel engines were coming to the U.S, but did say the company has to consider it as the fuel's popularity increases.

Those engines will join the next MINI's core engine range, based off BMW's new 1.5-liter three-cylinder unit. A four-cylinder engine will also be used in the performance models.

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