Heating up the hot hatch world has become a game of diminishing returns - finding a way to fit 300hp, smart looks and a roomy interior all into an affordable price tag is not easy. But Mini has decided to take a new tack: turning the Cooper into a crossover, and maybe even adding diesel into the mix.

To show they're serious about the Mini credentials of the new Crossover, the company is planning a John Cooper Works (JCW) version of the new soft-roader, reports Autoweek.nl. Powetrains will be shared with the standard JCW hatch, which means a 211hp (157kW) turbo-four with 192lb-ft (260Nm) of torque.

That is, unless another rumor proves true: a diesel JCW hatch may be in the works. If it comes to be, that would add an even torquier, though somewhat less free-revving option to the hottest of the Mini family of hatches. A diesel would make a fitting solution on the JCW Crossover especially, melding all three of the car's aspirations together: sport, utility, and economy.

The diesel JCW, if it does materialize, could use a pumped-up version of the 1.6L diesel used in the Mini Cooper D. It would likely be rated at about 160hp (119kW) and 220lb-ft (300Nm) of torque or more.

And Americans, don't get envious just yet - it might even be coming to America. A smallish crossover would likely be a hit, and with new CAFE standards looming, using Mini to minimize BMW's footprint and consumption numbers might be part of the strategy. A U.S.-market diesel could hit the streets by 2010 or 2011.