Sometimes blurry photos can reveal some exciting details: A reader of Bimmertoday has caught a MINI Countryman F60 prototype which, judging by the sticker on the door, runs on a plug-in hybrid platform.
Even though BMW has never confirmed a hybrid Countryman, the assumption has always been that the next-gen F60 MINI SUV will use the same plug-in hybrid as seen in recent BMW cars. We believe the new Countryman will be powered by the same drivetrain found in the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer which we’ve recently driven. That particular model features BMW’s 1.5 liter three-cylinder TwinPower engine, transversely mounted powering the front wheels through a six-speed automatic, and an 88hp / 136 Nm/100 lb-ft of torque electric motor, powering the rear wheels through a two-speed transmission. The gasoline engine produces 100 kW/136 hp and 220 Nm/162 pound-feet of torque/electric.
This essentially makes the 2 Series Active Tourer eDrive a backwards i8, as the i8 uses a similar setup, but with the engine at the rear and motor at the front.
Just like Active Tourer and Grand Tourer, and the new BMW X1 F48, the MINI Countryman F60 will not only be available with a front-wheel drive, but also equipped with optional all-wheel drive MINI ALL4. With the help of a Haldex clutch, the power can be routed to the rear wheels delivering additional traction.
MINI is likely to launch their Countryman hybrid after the introduction of the petrol and diesel units, so we expect a market launch in late 2016.