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by Tim Beissmann

The MINI Cooper SD will be unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show in March ahead of its Australian launch around the middle of the year.

According to reports, the MINI Cooper SD will be powered by a new turbo diesel engine (displacement either 1.6- or 2.0-litres) with and estimated 107kW of power and 305Nm of torque.

Its combined cycle fuel consumption is rumoured to be as low 4.3 litres/100km – not far off the 3.9 litres/100km of the standard MINI Cooper D, which produces 82kW and 280Nm.

The SD model line is expected to extend to all MINI models in overseas markets, including the hatch, Cabrio, Clubman and Countryman, and SD models are expected to be styled like the petrol-powered S models

MINI Australia’s Piers Scott told CarAdvice today that SD models were definitely in the pipeline for Australia.

“They’re not too far away … we could see [SD] cars here mid-year,” Mr Scott said.

He said MINI Australia would have a clearer idea of exactly which models would take on the new engine next month, but admitted the Countryman – due to be launched in late-February – was an obvious candidate.

“A bit tourqier engine for the added weight would go really well,” Mr Scott said.

He said there was definitely a demand for the higher performance diesel model in the local range, with the percentage of diesel sales in Australia around 50 percent of total MINI sales.

MINI sold 2267 vehicles in Australia in 2010, the Cooper variants accounting for 1864 and the Cabrio making up the remaining 403.




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