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|07-06-2012, 03:10 PM||#1|
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Exclusive: Mini still mulling diesel model for U.S.
Patrick McKenna, head of Mini's U.S. product strategy, said Thursday during the automaker's Mini Takes The States road rally that the brand is still considering building a diesel model for U.S. customers, but that it has not reached a final decision.
The problem for Mini is apparently deciding if a diesel version will simply divert customers who would have otherwise bought a gas version of the compact car rather than attract new green customers who want to have performance and high fuel economy numbers.
Meanwhile, Mini continues to develop its new gas engines for the next generation models, which McKenna said has produced good results. He declined to give specifics on the engines, only saying that some engines have shown more power than current engines with better fuel economy numbers.
"We have seen such great results with our new three-cylinder and four-cylinder engines, it's difficult to decide if we need to have a diesel engine here," McKenna told Autoblog. "It's a great problem to have."
Diesel owners would likely fit right in with some of the brand's more enthusiastic regular customers. With their devotion to all things Mini, these folks have proven themselves zealous owners during our time on the first two days of the 11-day Mini Takes The States rally. But Mini remains unsure if bringing diesel to the U.S. would be the best use of its limited resources. If they do push forward with an oil burning offering, we suspect it would be on one of its larger, pricier models like the Countryman crossover, which has a higher MSRP that would likely do the best job of absorbing diesel's extra cost while returning the most meaningful mileage improvements.
Mini still mulling diesel model for U.S. originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 06 Jul 2012 17:46:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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