Report: BMW readying MINI-based 0-Series

The MINI brand is vitally important to BMW's business plan to pass more stringent upcoming emissions and fuel economy regulations, but a new report indicates the German automaker will take things into its own hands.

According to Car Magazine, BMW is planning a new 0-Series model range, set to be based on the third-generation MINI platform. The new model is intended to bridge the gap between the MINI and the BMW 1-Series, and will also go a long way in helping BMW pass more stringent regulations.

Because of its MINI roots, the 0-Series is set to adopt a front-wheel drive setup - a first for the BMW brand. However, like the current MINI range, the 0-Series will have a serious emphasis on road-handling ability.

Power for the 0-Series will likely come from a range of new 3 and 4-cylinder powerplants. Efficiency will take priority over all-out power, although forced induction should ensure lively performance.

According to Car, the 0-Series will be available in three and five-door hatch configurations, as well as a two-door roadster. Despite its MINI roots, the 0-Series' interior will be thoroughly BMW, complete with all the brand's technologies.

No launch date was given, but the 0-Series will be available in Europe and the United States.