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MINI is hard at work developing the third-generation of its iconic hatchback in time for launch at the end of 2012, spy shots of the Cooper version you can see by clicking here. Based on a new front-wheel drive platform dubbed UKL, the new MINI is expected to spawn up to 10 different models, one of which is expected to be a MPV-styled van.
We’ve previously reported on comments from BMW Group boss Norbert Reithofer suggesting that MINI would eventually launch up to 10 different models, and now Autocar is reporting that one of these will be an MPV that could revive the ‘Traveller’ badge.
The original Mini Traveller, or Morris Mini-Minor Traveller officially, was a smallish van that in some generations even came with bolted-on wood body parts, and MINI may stick with the traditional name just as it did with the Clubman and Countryman that was borrowed from the original Austin-Morris lineup.
Importantly, the new UKL platform the latest MINI will ride is also capable of an all-wheel drive configuration, which means we’re likely to see more all-wheel drive MINIs than just the Countryman in the future. One of these will be a sporty three-door crossover designed as a successor to the production MINI Paceman due out towards the end of this year.
Most of the new MINIs will be powered by BMW’s new three-cylinder engines, which should deliver comparable performance to the four-cylinder engines found in today’s MINI lineup. Both gasoline and diesel units will be offered, all of them turbocharged.
A turbocharged four-cylinder unit producing up to 230 horsepower is expected remain, however, and feature in John Cooper Works variants. Additionally, a John Cooper Works version of the next-generation Countryman is also expected to be launched.
Finally, an electric version developed using insights gained from trials of the original MINI E is also expected.
For more details on the third-generation MINI, as well as spy shots, click here for our previous post.