The upcoming three-cylinder MINI engines will be part of a range of engines (all the way up to a V-8, utilizing a new common 500cc per cylinder base design which also uses Direct-Injection and Turbo charging. The new BMW 1 and 3 Series will receive it first, but other BMW/MINI models will also inherit this engine. The ultimate goal is to save resources in engine development costs and engine production for the two brands. The three-cylinder will deliver amazing fuel consumption but still retain BMW/MINI performance charactistics.
[Sources: BMWBlog and BimmerFile]