Next MINI Countryman to gain diesel option?

MINI is engineering the next Countryman to accommodate components required for U.S. emissions standards.

At present, oil-burning MINIs are available only on the other side of the pond, but that could well change in the near future.

Along with the issue of an unproven business case, one of the main reasons MINI doesn't sell the Countryman diesel in the states is that the crossover simply wasn't designed to incorporate U.S. emissions gear like a urea tank and SCR filter.

However, Car and Driver reports that MINI is engineering the next-generation Countryman with an eye towards accommodating those components and meeting U.S. emissions standards. That doesn't necessarily mean that the brand has decided to green light a U.S. diesel option, but at least the potential will be there.

The redesigned Countryman - which is expected to launch in 2017 - isn't the only U.S.-market MINI that could gain a diesel powertrain; MINI has stated that it's also monitoring potential demand and weighing the profitability of a MINI Cooper diesel.

In Europe, the MINI Cooper is offered with a 1.5-liter turbodiesel three-cylinder that delivers 116 horsepower and 199 lb-ft. of torque to the front wheels via either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission.

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