The all-new next-generation MINI models aren't due until 2007, but later this year, a new series of engines will be offered in the current model. These will replace the Chrysler-sourced petrol and Toyota diesel units currently fitted, and have been developed from scratch in co-operation with PSA Peugeot-Citroen. There are two 1.6-litre units, one normally-aspirated with variable valve timing (115bhp) and the other a direct-injection, turbocharged unit (143bhp), and we can also expect a more powerful PSA diesel. Engines for the MINI will be built at Hams Hall in the UK. Expect also transmission modifications and minor tweaks to the suspension to accommodate the new engines.
For the Mk2, the basic recipe for the hatchbacks won't change much, bar revisions to the suspension and slightly tweaked front end styling. The wheelbase will be stretched a little, though, and the boot slightly extended, for more rear legroom and improved luggage space. Convertible versions will continue, but the MK2 range is also expected to include a low-slung two-seater roadster and a mini-estate station wagon - a Clubman for the new generation.