When the new MINI Countryman was unveiled, one of the big news – apart from its drastic increase in size – was that it would now be available in plug-in hybrid guise. The so called MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 would slide right in to offer a cleaner alternative to those wanting to enjoy the MINI lifestyle. Now, you can finally order one.
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That’s if you live in Europe, at least, as US customers still have to wait a couple of weeks to get their hands on the plug-in hybrid.
Under the hood of the new hybrid Countryman lies a similar configuration to the one used on the 225xe Active Tourer, yet another car that is not available yet in the US. The powertrain is made up of a 3-cylinder petrol engine and a synchronous electric motor. Together they produce a system output of 224 PS. Equally impressive is the average fuel consumption of 2.3 – 2.1 l/100 km (102-112 mpg) and the CO2 emissions figure of 52 – 49 g/km in the EU test drive cycle. The EPA will definitely have different results once the car gets to North America.
The MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 combines the variable space concept of the new model generation’s largest member with the sustainability of BMW Group eDrive technology and an electrified all-wheel drive system. The front wheels are powered by the combustion engine, the rear wheels by the electric motor. The hybrid Countryman is able to run on electricity alone not just in urban traffic but far beyond, too – at a top speed of 125 km/h (78 mph) and with a range of up to 42 km (26 miles).
The internal combustion engine under the hood is a 1.5-liter mill good for 136 PS and 220 Nm (162 lb-ft) of torque while the electric motor is good for 88 PS and 165 Nm (122 lb-ft). Together, they deliver 224 HP and 385 Nm (284 lb-ft) of torque, thanks to their positioning. The electric motor is located in the trunk, under the luggage compartment, powering the rear axle, while the front internal combustion unit takes care of the front axle.
The lithium-ion battery for the electric motor is positioned directly in front of it, 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. At a wallbox with a charging capacity of 3.6 kW it can be fully charged in 2:30 hours. Charging at a regular household socket takes 3:15 hours.
Prices for the MINI Cooper S E ALL4 Countryman will start at $36,800 in the US while customers in Europe will pay from 37,500 Euros.