Mini recently announced that its Countryman, which is currently in its second generation, will be offered with a hybrid powertrain. This model will come together with the conventional three and four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines when it goes on sale in the UK market next year.
What Mini has announced here is a leap forward into future where it will be looking to diversify its lineup that has been conservative so far. This will include alternative fuel models of the automaker, including a fully electric version of the Cooper hatchback that is due in 2019. Since the New Countryman has been developed and built together with the BMW 225xe Plug-in Hybrid, it will be sharing the same basic platform as well. One more thing that they have in common will be BMW’s turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder petrol unit and electric motor. If this seems somewhat familiar than you are right, because the basics of this platform were unveiled with the BMW i8 but since then some changes were made. The petrol engine is now placed transversely up front, and the electric motor is mounted within the axle assembly at the rear of the car.
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The BMW’s 225xe petrol engine produces 134 HP and 162 lb-ft of torque while the electric motor add to this 87 HP and 122 lb-ft of torque which combined comes to a total of 221 HP and 284 lb-ft of torque. The specs for the Mini Countryman Hybrid are still unknown, but some specialists are claiming that they will probably be in the same ballpark as those of the BMW 225xe. The electric motor in combination with 7.6 kWh battery of the Countryman Hybrid provides an all-electric range of 25 miles and it is engineered in a way that when in hybrid mode it gives AWD drive and only RWD while in all-electric mode. All of this will be channeled and supported by very standard six-speed automatic transmission.
The Countryman’s hybrid system is built to operate in three modes – Auto eDrive (max 50 MPH), Max eDrive (max 78 MPH) and Save Battery. Its 7.6 kWh battery that is making all of this possible is going to find its place beneath the rear seat which implies that the hybrid Countryman will probably have somewhat smaller fuel tank than the regular version of it. But what is going to be interesting about this vehicle is the attempt to preserve its driving fun. Mini stated that the Countryman isn’t going to be solely concentrated on driving efficiency but on the fun of it as well “With this model we want to convince Mini customers of the benefits of hybrid drive” as stated by Peter Wolf, head of Mini brand management. He also added, “As far as the chassis and suspension are concerned, nothing changes from the conventionally driven variant (of the new Countryman)”.