In light of recent high fuel prices, BMW's US Mini unit is stressing the up-to-40 miles-per (smaller) US-gallon result in official EPA testing of its redesigned 2007 models.

"Mini USA's growth in sales over the past five years to just over 170,000 cars and the overall growth trend of the small-car market demonstrates how the industry is responding to the need for increased efficiency. Mini is a prime example that buyers do not need to sacrifice performance, quality and fun when opting for a smaller, more efficient vehicle," the automaker said in a statement.

On average the new generation 'hardtop' models - with new engines designed with PSA - achieve four miles per gallon more compared with their predecessors. The six-speed manual Cooper achieves a fuel economy of 32/40 City/Highway with a combined average of 35mpg.  The same car with an automatic transmission offers preliminary values of 30/37 City/Highway mpg with a combined average of 33mpg.

The turbocharged Cooper S manual gets 29/36 City/Highway with a combined 32mpg and the automatic 27/34 City/Highway with a combined average of 30mpg.

Mini cites the new family of lighter weight aluminium alloy engines that incorporate more efficient technology as the key factor in the improved fuel economy results. The engines feature variable valve train technology and a volume-flow controlled oil pump that delivers only the oil needed at a given time.

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