No official details have been released yet as the new model is still to be confirmed by BMW. Reports suggest it will feature a range of four-cylinder engines, including a variation of BMW's new 2.0-litre turbocharged unit, producing around 200kW.
Other engines said to be on offer include the 1.6-litre Peugeot/BMW turbocharged four-cylinder (found in the MINI Cooper S), producing around 135kW. An entry-level 2.0-litre engine, producing around 115kW, is also likely. Model ranges are said to carry 16i, 20i and 28i badges.
Possible powertrain layouts are causing plenty of controversy among enthusiasts of the Bavarian brand. On one hand, the idea of BMW creating a front-wheel drive sports car is just blasphemy. But on the other hand, doing so would allow costs to be kept down as packaging and components required for front-wheel drive are generally a lot cheaper.
Reports say the new model could be built on a front-wheel drive platform, more specifically, the same one to be used on the next-generation MINI. We'll keep you updated.