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MINI breaking new grounds – new Countryman can go electric with a touch of a button

Posted May 11, 2017

MINI is an iconic British automotive brand, bringing small yet fun to drive cars to the market. Of course, now it is owned by BMW and it changed the face of the company, made it more up-market, higher quality, more expensive and much more technologically advanced. A new MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 is good example where MINI is heading.

MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 has 4 driven wheels – front ones are powered by petrol engine, rear – by an electric motor. Image credit: BMW group

MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 is a plug-in hybrid, which can drive on electric power alone, making it emission-free vehicle whenever driver desires it to be. It is the first car of this kind in MINI’s range. It is powered by a 3-cylinder petrol engine and a synchronous electric motor, together producing 165 kW/224 hp. Of course, hybrid powertrain is meant to reduce emission and improve fuel consumption, so this new MINI features the average fuel consumption of 2.3 – 2.1 litres per 100 kilometres and the CO2 emissions figure of 52 – 49 grams per kilometre.

As mentioned before, the new Countryman ALL4 can go fully electric. Top speed in the electric mode is 125 km/h and range of up to 42 kilometres is rather respectable too. All this electric power comes from 7.6 kWh lithium-ion battery and goes to rear wheels only. That is how this crossover (or city SUV) gets its four wheel drive system – electric motor is driving the rear axle, while a 1.5 litre 3-cylinder petrol engine with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology takes care of the front wheels. You think interior space suffers from such package?

Only some yellow badges and charging port reveal that this is no ordinary Countryman. Image credit: BMW group

Battery is situated under the rear seat, which is mounted a little bit higher. Charging it at home will take around 3 hours and 15 minutes, but if you happen to have a wallbox installed, this time drops to 2 hours and 30 minutes. Because of how compact this system is, the luggage compartment is only a little bit smaller than that of conventionally powered MINI Countryman. And the rest is business as usual – only some design details reveal electrifying character of the car.

Battery and fuel tank both fit under the rear seat – hybrid Countryman is almost as spacious as a conventionally powered model. Image credit: BMW group

But what about exciting driving character that is a signature feature of all MINI cars? Rather small internal combustion engine and hybrid system does not mean that the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 is slow. In fact, it reaches 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds. Uwe Seitz, MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 project manager, said: “The plug-in hybrid concept perfectly matches the new MINI Countryman because it offers intelligent all-wheel drive as well as being able to run on electricity alone both in urban areas and over longer distances, too. This is unique in the segment”.

And it is easy to see that this car is going to be popular. You can turn it electric when circumstances require (like in urbanized environment) or you can simply enjoy the added benefit of extremely low fuel consumption. It basically does not have disadvantages, except probably higher price tag.


Source: BMW group

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