MINI is giving out an early Christmas treat for their fans – a brand new hybrid drivetrain for its first hybrid model complete with an electric range of 24 miles and a 1.5-liter turbo-three engine.
It is by far, the most important feature of the second-generation Mini Countryman, built from the experience of creating the all-electric Mini E as well as the lessons learned from BMW’s i3 and i8 plug-in vehicles. Complete with all the functionalities of a standard car as well as an all-wheel-drive capability, the new Cooper S E Countryman is made extra special with a healthy dose of efficiency.
This new plug-in electric vehicle is installed with a dual-powertrain setup in such a way that a turbocharged, 1.5-liter inline-three engine sits right under its hood while an electric motor sits pretty right under the luggage floor around the back of the car. The former is capable of producing 134 horsepower and 162 lb.-ft. of torque, with all of this power sent to the front wheels via its six-speed automatic transmission.
The electric motor on the other hand, powers its rear wheels via a two-stage, single-speed transmission sending out 87 horsepower and 122 lb.-ft. of torque. These are what make up the Countryman’s All4 all-wheel-drive. It’s sort of similar to that of the Acura NSX.
More than what it’s made of, the new Countryman offers numbers that are quite a feat for plug-in hybrids. It can produce a total system output of 221 horsepower and 284 lb.-ft. of torque, and has a 0 to 60 mph acceleration time of only 6.8 seconds. The Countryman can go up for 24 miles on full electric power and an additional speed of up to 77 miles per hour. It will take 3 hours and 15 minutes to fully charge its electric motor from a 240-volt outlet.
Let’s go into the environment-friendly aspects of the new 2017 Countryman. We know that it produces a total of 49 g/km of CO2 emissions per 2.1 liters/100 km based on the European test cycle. This means that not only is the Countryman fuel-efficient, it produces less harmful emissions to keep the air clean and green.
Just like other standard vehicles, the Countryman offers three different drive modes – the Auto eDrive, Max eDrive, and Save Battery. The Auto eDrive mode allows the Countryman to cruise on an all-electric drive with speeds up to 55 mph and it automatically turns to its engine during heavy acceleration or at highway speeds. The Max eDrive on the other hand allows the user to reach its 77 mph maximum speed on pure electric power; this mode however, consumes the battery faster than the Auto eDrive. The Save Battery mode actually speaks for itself – its battery charge state is kept above 90 percent with the combustion engine keeping the car moving.
There are only very minimal changes in the interior unlike its powertrain. The rear seats have been slightly raised to make room for the electric motor house at the rear portion of the car. Its cargo capacity is also slightly less than that of the conventional-powered model due to the addition of its electric motor.
Cooper S E Countryman will make its first official appearance at the LA Auto Show alongside its non-hybrid version. Mini is expecting sales for the standard Countryman to start in March 2017 while its PHEV version will follow suit in June of the same year.