BMW AG ends a year of speculation by announcing at the North American International Auto Show that the base model of its new-generation Mini, which already is on sale in Europe and launches in the U.S. next month, will start at $16,850, including destination charge. The high-performance Mini Cooper S, with its supercharged version of the 4-cyl. Mini engine, will have a base price of $19,850, which also includes destination.

The Mini, previously built by Britain's Rover Group and last imported to the U.S. in 1967, will be sold in dedicated dealerships by roughly 70 BMW dealers located in major metro markets in 29 states.

The Mini Cooper and Cooper S will be offered in 10 different colors, each of which can include a contrasting white or black roof. The roof also can be body-colored or painted with the U.S. or Union Jack flag. Worldwide sales target for 2002 is 100,000 units, 20,000 of which it is hoped will come from the U.S., the company says.