What's this, a hot-hatch diesel version of the new Mini?
Hang on a minute, the new Mini Cooper D is faster than the old One D - but it's not exactly going to threaten the turbocharged Cooper S hot hatch. But the advent of a 109bhp turbodiesel means that BMW has dropped the One badge and upgraded the oil-burner to Cooper status this time. Under the bonnet lies the PSA Peugeot-Citroen 1.6-litre engine. With 192lb ft of torque available in short bursts on overboost, it's enough to nudge the 0-62mph time down to 9.9sec while top speed is 121mph. You can spot the Cooper D by its larger front air intake and subtle power dome on the bonnet, required to accommodate the new engine.
Who buys diesel superminis these days though?
Good question. Diesel sales drop off significantly in supermini and city car sectors - they're already small enough to be economical and the benefits of slotting a pricey diesel engine into a small car outweigh the meagre benefits. That said, the Cooper D does manage to be more teetotal than the outgoing, less powerful One D. The new one will average 64.2mpg and pumps out just 118g/km - so it'll be popular with business users wishing to trim their tax bill. However, there's one big stumbling block... it costs £14,190. That's halfway between the petrol Cooper and the Cooper S range-topper.
That's a lot of cash. What's the cheapest Mini I can buy?
Mini has also unveiled the One, distinguished by black radiator grille, door mirrors and tailgate handle. It's the cheapest way into the brand and costs £11,595. It uses a 94bhp 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine based on the Cooper's 1.6; fully variable valve timing helps contribute a 5bhp jump over its predecessor at the same time as a 15% economy gain. Both new Minis get a six-speed manual gearbox and will be shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March.