The MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 is the first model of the brand in which a plug-in hybrid drive provides the option of mobility that is purely electric. The job of providing efficient forward propulsion is shared between a 3-cylinder gas engine and a synchronous electric motor. Together they produce a system output of 224 hp.
The front wheels are powered by the combustion engine, the rear wheels by the electric motor. The MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 is able to run on electricity alone not just in urban traffic but beyond at a top speed of 77 mph and with a range of up to 27 miles. Drawing on the power of both drive forms, it offers driving fun away from surfaced roads, too.
“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,” says Uwe Seitz, MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 project manager.
The space under the hood is occupied by a 3-cylinder petrol engine with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology from the latest generation of the BMW Group engines. From a capacity of 1.5 litres it produces 136 hp. In the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4, the combustion engine is combined with a modified 6-speed Steptronic transmission.
The second power unit is an electric motor that is housed under the luggage compartment floor. Designed according to the principle of a hybrid synchronous motor, the electric drive offers an output of 88 hp which is particularly high considering its size and weight. In addition, it provides constant power delivery even in high engine speed ranges as well as a very high level of efficiency. The electric motor directs its power to the rear axle via a two-stage single-speed transmission.
The lithium-ion battery is positioned directly in front of the electric motor underneath the rear seat. It is made up of five modules, each comprising 16 battery cells, and like the electric motor it is produced at the Dingolfing plant, the BMW Group’s competence center for eDrive technology. It can be fully charged in 2:30 hours. Charging at a regular household socket takes 3:15 hours.
Only one of the two power units is used when the car is moving, while the other one can be additionally enabled at any time to optimize traction, ride stability and agility. The signal required for this purpose comes from the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) unit, which permanently analyses both the situation on the road and the driver’s wishes.
“The result is an intelligent all-wheel drive system that ensures perfect movement in all weathers and on all road surfaces,” explains Uwe Seitz, MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 project manager.
The driver can also use the eDrive toggle switch to choose between three operating modes. In the standard setting AUTO eDRIVE, the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 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 77 mph. What is more, 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.
The special features of the cockpit include a yellow start/stop unit at the center 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 Radio MINI Visual Boost 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 Wired package including MINI navigation system Professional, 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 center console.
Pricing and availabilty information was not released.
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