The MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 is the first model of the British premium brand in which a plug-in hybrid drive provides the option of mobility that is purely electric and therefore emissions-free, coupled with the MINI driving spirit. MINI was an early pioneer in the elector-mobility field: the MINI E presented in 2008 was the BMW Group’s first ever purely electrically powered automobile and was driven by private users in everyday traffic as part of a large-scale field experiment. More than 600 of this vehicle based on the MINI Cooper were used for practical testing purposes worldwide.
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On the MINI Cooper S E Countryman, the front wheels are powered by the combustion engine, the rear wheels by the electric motor. The familiar space under the bonnet is occupied by a 3- cylinder gasoline engine with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology from the latest generation of the BMW Group engines. From a capacity of 1.5 liters this mobilizes a peak output of 134 hp. The maximum torque of the engine is 162 ft-lbs., which goes on stream at 1,250 rpm. In the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4, the combustion engine is combined with a modified 6-speed Steptronic transmission.
The second power unit of the MINI S E Countryman ALL4 is an electric motor that is housed under the luggage compartment floor. Designed according to the principle of a hybrid synchronous motor, the electric drive offers an output of 87 hp – which is particularly high considering its size and weight – and generates a maximum torque of 122 ft-lbs. that is characteristically available directly from standing. In addition, it provides constant power delivery even in high engine speed ranges as well as a very high level of efficiency. The electric motor directs its power to the rear axle via a two-stage single-speed transmission.
A total system output of 221 hp and a combined torque of 284 ft- lbs allows the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds.
THE BATTERY PACK
The lithium-ion battery is positioned directly in front of the electric motor underneath the rear seat. It is made up of five modules, each comprising 16 battery cells, and like the electric motor it is produced at the Dingolfing plant, the BMW Group’s competence centre for eDrive technology. The high-voltage battery has a capacity of 7.6 kWh. Charging at a 240-volt socket takes 3 hours and 15 minutes.
The MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 is able to run on electricity alone at a top speed of 77 mph and with a range of up to 24 miles.
The driver can also use the eDrive toggle switch to choose between three operating modes – AUTO eDRIVE, MAX eDRIVE and SAVE BATTERY. In the standard setting AUTO eDRIVE, the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 runs on electrical power only up to a speed of 55 mph . At higher speeds and in the case of very intensive loads, the combustion engine is automatically enabled in addition. In MAX eDRIVE mode the vehicle is powered by the electric motor alone at speeds up to 78 mph . What is more, the SAVE BATTERY mode can be selected so as to relieve the capacity of the high-voltage battery or raise its charge state to at least 90 percent so that sufficient electrical power remains for locally emissions-free driving later on.
Unmistakable elements on the inside and outside point to the badge on the new Countryman hybrid. The connection for the charging cable is under a flap in the area of the left-hand side scuttle. Other features are the model-specific “e” badge on the side scuttles and also a yellow “S” in the model inscription on the rear as well as on the radiator grille and door sill finishers.
The special features of the cockpit include a yellow start/stop unit at the center of the toggle switch panel and a performance display in the instrument cluster on the steering column. The MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 comes as standard with the MINI Connected infotainment system featuring a 6.5-inch color screen in the central instrument. This displays information such as the charge state of the high- voltage battery and operating mode of the hybrid drive selected by eDrive toggle switch.
The Countryman Cooper S E ALL4 plug-in hybrid will go on sale in June 2017.