• Next-gen MINI Cooper offers new engines
  • Base engine is a 3-cylinder; Cooper S boasts 189 horsepower
  • More details expected in November

MINI has officially revealed several new details about its next-generation Cooper hatchback. The information comes ahead of the third-generation Cooper's launch, which is scheduled for a global press event in November.

The most important details relate to the new Cooper's engines. According to MINI, base models will use a turbocharged 1.5-liter 3-cylinder -- yes, a 3-cylinder -- that will make 138 hp and 163 lb-ft of torque. That means the new base engine is more powerful than today's 4-cylinder, which makes just 121 hp. We expect it will also be more fuel efficient, given the switch to a smaller engine and fewer cylinders.

Like today's, the upcoming MINI lineup will also include a more powerful Cooper S. That model will use a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that makes 189 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. An "overboost" function will bring torque to as high as 221 lb-ft to provide short bursts of acceleration. Once again, the latest MINI's figures are a step up from today's numbers, which reach 181 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque.

For shoppers interested in gas mileage, MINI is adding one more engine to the mix. A turbodiesel version of the base model's 1.5-liter 3-cylinder will produce 116 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque, making it the most efficient engine in the MINI's lineup. The only catch: Parent company BMW hasn't announced whether that powerplant will make it to the U.S.

Beyond announcing its core gas and diesel powerplants, MINI has not revealed details on any other engines. That means the performance-oriented John Cooper Works model, rumored to offer as much as 300 hp, is still a question mark.

But MINI did release a few more details beyond the Cooper's new engines. For example, the upcoming model will use a new, lighter platform that will underpin the BMW 1 Series. Electronically adjustable suspension allows drivers to choose their driving mode. And new manual and automatic transmissions will deliver power to the road.

While we don't know any other details -- such as exactly what the next MINI Cooper will look like -- we'll surely have more information when the car is revealed on November 18.

What it means to you: The latest MINI Cooper may sport a 3-cylinder, but we suspect it will be just as enjoyable as ever.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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