The MINI Cooper is iconic; both in its old and new form the car creates life long customers with its miniature stature and copious amounts of fun. The MINI is all about a new lifestyle; one that you might say revolves around the car and in keeping with being small MINI is coming out with a new smaller engine. In fact, it is smaller by an entire cylinder.

2010 mini one 010

2010 mini one 010

According to Left Lane News, BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer confirmed that the company was preparing its first three-cylinder engine to debut to the automotive public. At the time, that was the entire scoop—no dates and no car debut information. Nada. Zilch. Zero. Of course, we wouldn’t be reporting on it if we didn’t have better news than that to share and indeed new reports on the next generation of MINI has revealed information on the up and coming three-cylinder engine.

Motoring Authority, a MINI enthusiast site, reports that the next-generation MINI is going to be down a cylinder, but not down any power. Consider it the marvels of modern engineering. The scoop is that the new MINI is still expected to receive in the neighborhood of 120 horsepower for the base Cooper model and 180 horsepower for the sportier Cooper S model. Some of you are going to ask, “How did they do that?” I have two words for you—Direct Injection.

Bottom line—direct injection seems to be the way of the future for gasoline and diesel powered cars (the latter having the technology the longest). The net result is a three-cylinder MINI that is expected to be good for a ballpark fuel efficiency number of 50 mpg on the highway. Now that is something you can take to the pump.