Not long ago MINI said in a statement that a special model will be unveiled in the near future with the sole purpose of taking on some of the harshest terrains in the world. This time though, it wasn’t a reference to the Dakar rally where specially-prepped rally cars with the winged logo on their hood used to claim victory after victory, but instead the topic revolves around a car that seems more down to earth and is actually road-legal: the MINI Countryman Panamericana.
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As the name suggests, this car will be driven on the world-famous Panamericana otherwise also known as the Pan-Americana Highway or Interamericana. It is a road connecting the US state of Alaska with the Argentinean Tierra del Fuego and runs between the northernmost and the southernmost points of the Americas, over a distance of about 25,750 kilometers. In both North and South America, numerous intersections and alternative routes are part of the Panamericana road network, covering a total length of more than 48,000 kilometers.
In the border area between Panama and Colombia, a ship passage is necessary to continue the journey, as an originally planned section of about 90 kilometers in length, inter alia, to protect the local rainforest area was not completed. The drive over the historic dream road leads through diverse climatic zones, dense jungle and challenging high mountain passes. In addition to well-developed highways, gravel roads and narrow mountain passages are part of the route network that the three MINI Countryman Panamericana Plug-In Hybrids will have to cope with.
To be able to do so, the car was a modified to some extent. Additional headlights, tires with emergency running characteristics and a roof rack for transporting a spare wheel will make the compact five-door fit for a road trip in a class of its own. Based on the MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4, the combined power and versatility of its two engines make it the perfect endurance athlete for the Panamericana adventure.
Three MINI Countryman Panamericana Plug-In Hybrid vehicles will tackle the intercontinental route on the world’s longest north-south road link. MINI hopes they will demonstrate the reliability and long-distance performance of the Plug-In Hybrid drive technology used in the MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 and we can’t but wish it good luck as this will be a challenging task.