MINI’s first plug-in hybrid revealed

For the first time a MINI is available with a plug-in hybrid system.  The new MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL 4 draws on the expertise in this area from across the BMW Group, including the range of BMW iPerformance vehicles.

MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL
MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL
A three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with MINI TwinPower technology, producing 136 hp and 220 Nm of torque, powers the front wheels of the Cooper S E Countryman. This engine is combined with a six-speed Steptronic transmission.

The rear wheels are powered by an electric motor housed under the floor of the luggage compartment. This motor offers 88 hp and 165 Nm of torque, with all of the torque available from zero rpm.

The lithium-ion battery is positioned directly in front of the electric motor underneath the rear seat. Made up of five modules, each comprising 16 battery cells. The high-voltage battery has a capacity of 7.6 kWh a fully charge can be achieved 2:15 hours via a 3.6kw wallbox, while charging at a domestic household socket takes 3:15 hours.

Side view of MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL
Elevated MINI Clubman styling
The intelligent energy management system, controlled by the power electronics of the plug-in hybrid system, ensures that the interplay between the combustion engine and the electric motor is optimised for both driving fun and efficiency in all situations. Using the power of the electric motor alone, the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 is able to provide locally emissions-free driving, and in the event that more intense acceleration is required, the electric motor supports the combustion engine via a boost function.

A total system output of 224 hp and a combined torque of 385 Newton metres are available, enabling 0-62 mph in just 6.9 seconds. Fuel consumption and C02 emissions are very low, with 134.5 mpg and 49 g/km respectively, and the Cooper S E Countryman can travel up to 25-miles on electric power alone.

Variable drive

Via the eDrive toggle switch, the driver can also influence control over the interaction of the power units. There are three operating modes: Auto, Max and Save Battery. In the standard setting AUTO eDRIVE, the vehicle runs on electrical power only up to a speed of 50 mph. At higher speeds and in the case of very intensive loads, the combustion engine is automatically enabled in addition.

MINI Countryman S E plug-in hybrid eDrive selection toggle switch
eDrive selection toggle switch
In MAX eDRIVE mode the vehicle is powered by the electric motor alone at speeds up to approximately 78 mph.

Finally, the SAVE BATTERY mode can be selected so as to relieve the capacity of the high-voltage battery or raise its charge state to at least 90 per cent so that sufficient electrical power remains for locally emissions-free driving later on.
With route guidance activated on standard specification navigation system, MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 uses an anticipatory energy management system to ensures that appropriate sections of the route are run on electric power alone.

The high-voltage battery is housed underneath the slightly raised rear seat, as is the 35-litre fuel tank. When all seats are in use, the luggage compartment volume in the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 is only slightly less than in the conventionally powered models. The connection for the charging cable is under a flap in the area of the left-hand side scuttle.

MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL charge socket
Charging socket mounted on left hand scuttle with yellow highlights

High specification

This particular Countryman model is distinguishable by the model-specific “e” badge on the side scuttles, and also a yellow “S” in the model inscription on the rear as well as on the radiator grille and doorsill finishers. At the rear, a JCW aerodynamic rear bumper features a single exhaust outlet. Inside, the cockpit includes a yellow start/stop unit at the centre of the toggle switch panel and a performance display in the instrument cluster on the steering column.

The MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 comes as standard with the MINI Visual Boost Radio featuring a 6.5-inch colour screen in the central instrument. In addition to the MINI Country Timer, this also displays information such as the charge state of the high-voltage battery and operating mode of the hybrid drive selected by eDrive toggle switch. In conjunction with the optional Media package including MINI navigation system XL, operation is via an 8.8-inch screen with a new graphic design and touchscreen function as well as via the Touch Controller in the centre console.

The Founder of driveEV. A driving and new technology fan enjoying learning all about the future of motoring. I drive a BMW i3.