With a plug-in hybrid on-board, the longer, wider and more spacious the second-gen Mini Countryman will go on sale early next year.
Say hello to the all-new Mini Countryman. As opposed to its ‘Mini’ roots, the second-gen Countryman has gone to become even larger and roomier than its predecessor. And while on it, the Countryman has also received a plug-in hybrid powertrain, making it the first ever electrified Mini.
In the new generation model, the Mini Countryman moves to the BMW Group’s UKL2 platform. As a result, it has grown 200mm longer and 30mm wider. In addition to that, the wheelbase has been increased by 75mm, which translates into 50mm more legroom and 100 litres of extra boot space. It’s indeed a sub-compact crossover now.
Design wise, the new Countryman has undergone ‘evolutionary development’ says Mini. And there’s no two ways about it since it retains the bubbly appearance of its predecessor, but gets a number of stylistic refinements. For example, the big LED headlamps, hexagonal grille and upright tail-lights have been redesigned in the new model. The rear number-plate has also moved up on the boot-lid from the bumper. And, of course, the creases on the body are now more prominent to give it a bit of an aggression.
Inside, it’s a similar story. Most of the bits and bobs such as the large circular-themed central screen, signature instrument cluster with big dials, toggle switches, etc., look familiar since they’re borrowed from other Mini models. However, there are a few more modifications on the inside like vertical air-vents, new infotainment touchscreen – you can choose between a 6.5-inch or 8.8-inch display, more connectivity options, etc.
The 2017 Countryman will be available with five engines on offer including two petrol, two diesel and a plug-in hybrid powertrain, albeit the latter will arrive at a later stage after the car’s official launch in February 2017. Mini will also offer the ‘ALL4’ four-wheel drive system across the range.
The entry-level petrol variant will come powered by a 134bhp/220Nm rated 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol. Next up will be the Cooper S version that will get a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol developing 189bhp and 280Nm. The diesel range will have the Cooper D variant at the lower end, fitted with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder mill producing 148bhp and 330Nm. Sitting above that in the range will be the Cooper SD with a power output of 187bhp and 400Nm of torque. All the variants will be offered with an 8-speed automatic, except the base petrol – which gets a 6-speed automatic. A six-speed manual gearbox is also available across the range.
The plug-in hybrid version, which is dubbed the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4, will feature the three cylinder-cylinder petrol engine of the base model coupled to a synchronous electric motor rated at 87bhp. Combined power output of the system stands at 221bhp and 385 Nm.
Among other highlights, the Countryman will come with optional adaptive dampers, three driving modes – Green, Mid and Sport – to alter the steering, throttle, engine noise and gear-shift settings.
The 2017 Mini Countryman will make its world debut at the upcoming 2016 Los Angeles Motor Show in November. Will it be coming to India? Considering that the outgoing model is still sold in India, the new one is expected to come here by end of 2017.