2017 MINI Countryman Cooper S E Hybrid: An Electric Crossover Go-Kart

by under News on 06 Mar 2017 12:30:16 PM06 Mar 2017

We think MIN-e might have been catchier. 

2017 MINI Countryman

In a first for the brand, BMW-owned small-car specialists MINI have unveiled its first-ever plug-in hybrid model. Dubbed the Countryman Cooper S E Hybrid (which we will refer to as the Countryman S E for the rest of this article), the electrified MINI features a three-cylinder petrol engine powering the front wheels and an electric engine powering the rear pair, with no less than two transmissions to keep power going. 

Combined, the Countryman S E offers as much as 165kW & 385Nm, with the century sprint dispatched in just a hair under 7-seconds. MINI claims an all-electric range of up to 40km, with zero-emissions cruising at up to 125km/h. With both engines working together, the manufacturer claims an almost astonishing 2.1L-2.5L/100km fuel consumption, though these figures should be taken with a pinch of salt.

2017 MINI Countryman

It’s a good thing that it’s more efficient though, as the placement of the batteries underneath the rear seat bench means that the fuel tank has shrunk to a diminutive 35L. The 7.6kWh battery pack, made by BMW, can be recharged from a regular plug point in 3-hours and 15-minutes, but use of a wall box charger drops that time by a whole hour (to 2:15-hours). 

Power from the two engines go through two gearboxes. The TwinPower 3-pot up front is mated to a 6-speed Steptronic auto that puts power down to the front wheels, while the electric engine in the rear is paired to a two-speed transmission that powers the rear wheels. This essentially creates an all-wheel drive system without having the two axels connected mechanically, much like the system on the Volvo XC90 T8 TwinEngine Hybrid

2017 MINI Countryman2017 MINI Countryman2017 MINI Countryman2017 MINI Countryman

The electric motor is called upon during low-speed transit, and the immediacy of the torque should make the Countryman S E darty through town traffic. The silent electric propulsion remains the default mode until you hit 80km/h, at which point the conventional engine up front is “gently activated” and takes over as the prime powerplant. Of course, this transition can be overridden by a flick of the ‘eDRIVE’ toggle switch to ‘MAX eDRIVE’ mode, which will then raise the maximum electric-only speed to 125km/h.

BMW is quick to point out that all the components of the hybrid system in the Countryman S E are a “result of the [BMW] Group’s eDrive technology.” The battery pack is given a warranty of six years or 96,000km. Unique aesthetic embellishments include an ‘E’ badge on the nose and fenders, while the door sills gain a yellow ’S’ logo. The alloy wheels, 17-inches in diameter, are also unique to this variant. Hybrid-specific displays and readouts will likely feature here, and while the UK-market cars get a generous spec list (with GPS navigation, cruise control, bluetooth, and Active Guard as standard), it’s still unclear if MINI’s plug-in hybrid will get these same features should it make Australian landfall. 

You can check out our earlier coverage of the new MINI Countryman here, and you can find more details on the MINI range at our Showroom

Keep Reading

Share Your Thoughts On Mini COOPER