Teased last week, the new PHEV’s full name is the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 (we’ll call it the Countryman E…), and it gives customers a chance to experience emissions-free driving in a MINI model for the first time using the 65kW/165Nm electric motor.
That motor shares the duties of forward propulsion with a 100kW/220Nm three-cylinder petrol engine, with the pair offering up a combined 165kW of power and 385Nm of torque.
Power is distributed to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission, with the petrol engine driving the front wheels and the electric motor driving the rear. In EV mode, a two-stage, single-speed automatic is in use.
When fully-charged, the Countryman E can travel on electric power alone with the driver given a choice of three drive-modes: Auto eDrive, Max eDrive or ‘Save Battery’.
In Auto eDrive, the Countryman E has a top speed of 80km/h after which the petrol engine kicks in to assist. The petrol unit also starts when battery charge falls below seven percent.
Max eDrive lifts the top speed to 125km/h with the petrol engine firing into life at higher speeds, or on kick-down.
As the name suggests, Save Battery maintains or lifts the battery charge to 90 percent, allowing the driver to operate in all-electric mode at a later stage.
If all of this sounds like too much hard work, the MINI can be left to its own devices with the engine management system selecting the appropriate drive-mode using satellite navigation data.
The maximum range on battery power alone is 40km, and MINI says the 7.6kWh battery pack can be recharged in just over two hours using BMW’s iWallbox, or three hours using a conventional home socket. The official fuel figure is 2.1 l/100km.
To squeeze the battery pack into a MINI Countryman-sized package, MINI has lifted the rear seat slightly in the interior and the fuel tank is 35 litres. MINI says the impact on cargo space is ‘slight’.
“The plug-in hybrid concept perfectly matches the new MINI Countryman because it offers intelligent all-wheel drive as well as being able to run on electricity alone both in urban areas and over longer distances, too. This is unique in the segment,” MINI’s Uwe Seitz said.
MINI Australia says it is considering the Countryman E for a local debut, but the 2017 Countryman range for Australia is yet to be finalised. Stay tuned to TMR for more.
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