MINI’s first plug-in hybrid now on U.K. sale for £31,585

For the first time a MINI is available as a plug-in hybrid electric, bringing drivers performance and extremely low consumption and emissions.

The new MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL 4 utlises expertise and technology found in the BMW iPerformance and i models.  Officially launching in the U.K. on 24th June 2017, pre-orders are now being taken, with a starting price of £31,585.

Propelled by 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 automatic transmission. The rear wheels are powered by a synchronous 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 motor’s output is sent to the rear axle via a two-stage single-speed transmission.

A 7.6kwh lithium-ion battery is positioned directly in front of the electric motor underneath the slightly raised rear seat.  When all seats are in use, the luggage compartment volume in the plug-in Countryman is only slightly less than in the conventionally powered models.

Charge up

Using a domestic wallbox with a charging capacity of 3.6 kW it can be fully charged in 2:15 hours, while charging at a regular household socket takes 3:15 hours. 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.

Edrive toggle switch
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. 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.
Unique markings

This particular model is distinguishable by the model-specific “e” badge on the side scuttles (the left-hand one hiding the charge connector), 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.

Discrete Charge socket locatation
The new model 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.