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Sporty diesel to boost Mini sales

Date: 05 November 2006   |   Author: Hugh Hunston

Business sales of the new Mini will receive a major boost next March when a "performance-related" diesel model, carrying the Cooper badge, enters the market.

Although Mini execs won't discuss the engine or the model's badging, it is believed the Cooper D's power unit will be a 110PS plus version of the 1.6-litre engine currently shared by Peugeot, Citroen and Ford.

Likely to benefit from similar weight savings enjoyed by the new 1.6-litre Cooper, down 28 kilograms, and its turbocharged direct-injection Cooper S counterpart, 45kgs lighter, the Cooper D's average fuel consumption should approach 65mpg.

From a tax perspective the car's CO2 ratings are likely to be better than the old 1.4 75PS Toyota-engined Mini One D's 129g/km.

While not commenting directly on the Cooper D, Paul Griffiths, Mini contract hire operations manager, said: "We will have a performance-related diesel," while Trevor Smithers, head of Mini marketing, admitted: "We will have a more serious diesel presence in the market from next spring and the diesel factor will be part of overall growing fleet and retail sales volumes."