Official: 2011 Mini Countryman breaks cover

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 26, 2010

MINI revealed today its fourth model, the Countryman Crossover,a new car that according to the manufacturer "bridges the gap between the classic concept of the MINI and a modern Sports Activity Vehicle". As you can see from the photos, the new car carries the same design line as all the MINI models but because it is a crossover, it comes with larger body dimensions, greater ground clearance and four doors.

Also, the new car re-interprets the characteristic icons of a MINI such as: roofline, the hexagon radiator grille, the surrounds on the side direction indicators, the large headlights integrated in the engine lid, the voluminous wheel arches as well as the upright rear light clusters in new style and class.

Inside, the slightly elevated seating position guarantees comfortable and pleasant access demonstrates that we have a crossover here folks. The car comes with the usual over-sized speedo and toggle switches found on all MINI models and the standard kit includes air-con and an audio system complete with a CD player.

As an option MINI offers sat-nav, phone systems, a panoramic roof, adaptive headlights,a towbar, alloy wheels from 16 to 19-inches and sports suspension, capable to lower the car with up to 10 mm. The MINI Countryman comes as a four-seater but a three-seat bench is also available with no extra costs. Boot capacity ranges from 350 to 1170 litres, according to seat arrangement. Regarding the engines, the MINI Countryman is entering the market with a choice of three petrol and two diesel engines.

The power range extends from 66 kW/90 hp in the MINI One D Countryman all the way to 135 kW/184 hp in the MINI Cooper S Countryman. The 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, found in the top model, comes with a twin-scroll turbocharger, direct fuel injection and with a fully variable valve management.

The car is offered as standard with a wide range of features serving to reduce fuel consumption and emissions such as Brake Energy Regeneration, Auto Start Stop, a gearshift point indicator, and on-demand management of the engine's ancillary units.

These engines are offered with a six-speed manual gearbox, but the petrol engine models are also available with six-speed automatic complete with Steptronic. Because it is a crossover, the Countryman is available with permanent MINI ALL4 all-wheel drive, an electrohydraulic differential positioned directly on the final drive varying the distribution from front to rear in an infinite process.

Under normal driving conditions up to 50 per cent of the engine's power goes to the rear wheels, under extreme conditions up to 100 per cent, offering a new, high-traction rendition of that agile handling so typical of MINI. Other features include the front axle with McPherson spring struts and forged track control arms, the multi-arm rear axle and EPS Electric Power Steering complete with Servotronic. Furthermore, the Countryman comes as standard with DSC Dynamic Stability Control and DTC Dynamic Traction Control.

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