BMW Plans to share next Minis underpinnings with Fiat

As if the Anglo-German ancestry of the current Mini wasn’t confusing enough, the next version of the car will also include Italian lineage.

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of the Fiat Group, is expected to announce a partnership with another automaker tomorrow morning.; Although he hasn’t confirmed such reports, it’s widely expected that the third-generation Mini, a BMW product, will share its platform with Fiat’s next Grande Punto hatchback, both scheduled to debut after 2010.

Such a move may allow BMW to reduce development costs for the new Mini, but it certainly will help Fiat’s product development teams.; The current Grande Punto lies on the Gamma platform, a program co-developed during Fiat’s brief and turbulent liaison with GM.

Although the Turin-based automaker has links to other partners, including PSA Peugeot-Citroen and Suzuki, products shared with those automakers are limited to badge-engineered cargo vans and compact cars, respectively.

Rumors also have it that BMW and Fiat may also co-develop a new range of gasoline and diesel powertrain.; The current Mini uses 1.4- and 1.6-liter I-4s designed by both BMW and Peugeot.
Source: Automotive News