MINI Begins Sales of Countryman Plug-in Hybrid

By · July 14, 2017

2018 MINI Cooper SE Countryman All4

The new 2018 MINI Cooper SE Countryman All4 made its debut in June. Sales of the first 10 US sales were reported last month, and the car made a UK appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The plug-in Countryman represents the first full-production electric-drive vehicle available in MINI showrooms.

The US Environmental Protection Agency rates the Cooper SE Countryman All4 with an all-electric range of 12 miles, with an equivalent of 65 miles per gallon while there’s juice in the battery. With its 7.6-kWh battery pack, we expect the real-world all-electric range to be closer to 20 miles on a single charge.

In “E-Drive” mode, the rear wheels get electric power (at speeds of up to 78 mph). After the pack is depleted or when in “Auto E-Drive” mode, the Countryman All4 also uses gasoline to power the front wheels via its 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine. With the gas engine and electric motor operating in unison, the car can sprint from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than seven seconds—with an efficiency of 27 miles per gallon. Combined system output is 221 horsepower. The MINI also offers a choice of dynamic settings: Sport, Mid, and Green.

The MINI Countryman plug-in is still rolling out to different regions. (Reportedly, the car is available in dealerships in Miami, indicating a wide range of markets.)

Reviewers say the Countryman offers comfortable seating for five, ample cargo space, excellent fit and finish, and an impressive suite of premium features that come standard. It retains MINI’s stylish character: a fun design and agile road manners. Its standard all-wheel-drive make it one of the few plug-in vehicles available with off-road capabilities.

BMW produced about 500 all-electric versions of the MINI E in 2009—with drivers in California, New York and New Jersey leasing the car in a trial program in the years that followed. Reports about the return of an electric MINI have been published in the blogosphere since at least 2014.

The 2018 MINI Cooper SE Countryman All4 is a plug-in hybrid—but a new pure electric MINI scheduled for about 2019. An all-electric BMW 3-Series is also reportedly in the works—with delivery as soon as late 2017. But it’s more likely to debut in 2018. There are rumors that it will offer long range, but details are not yet available. Reuters reported this month that BMW will decide in September on where it will make the electric 3-Series.

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