Mini introduces the new Countryman. And its plugin hybrid version, the Cooper S E

Mini has revealed the 2nd generation Countryman, which will be officially presented to the public at the LA Auto Show, with a very important innovation. It is not related to its platform, the UKL2, which is shared with the 2nd generation BMW X1, but with the brand’s new incursion on electrification. We can say the most important version of the new car is the Cooper S E, the first plugin hybrid offered by the company.

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Before the Countryman, Mini had only one electric car, the Mini E, which was more of a technology showcase than a real production version car. Especially because it only had 2 seats, since its batteries took all the (little) space the car had for rear passengers. The Contryman Cooper S E is an entirely different animal. It can carry 5 people. Strategically, Mini has not released pictures of the trunk of the crossover, since it must have been sacrificed for the batteries in some way.

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The regular one can carry 498 l of luggage. Before we get into the details of the plugin, we would better speak about the new Countryman as a whole.

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The 2nd generation crossover is 4.31 m long, 1.82 m wide, 1.56 m high and it has a wheelbase of 2.68 m. Its 16.5 cm ground clearance is not amazing, but is also not that bad.

The car will have 6 derivatives besides the Cooper S E. The Cooper, the entry-level trim, will be powered by a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that delivers 100 kW and 220 Nm. From that on you can also choose the Cooper S (2.0 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine producing 141 kW and 280 Nm) and, in Europe, the Cooper D (2.0 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine pumping out 110 kW and 330 Nm) and the Cooper SD (2.0 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine producing 140 kW and 400 Nm). For the USA, you will have the Cooper ALL4 and the Cooper S ALL4, with the same engines of the Cooper and Cooper S derivatives. The difference is the all-wheel drive system. Transmission options are the 6-speed manual, the 6-speed automatic for the Cooper and Cooper D and the 8-speed automatic for all ALL4, the Cooper S and the SD.

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The Cooper S E uses the same 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engine of the Cooper mated to an electric motor that provides an additional 65 kW. The total power of the hybrid powertrain reaches 165 kW, what is surprising, considering most hybrid powertrains present some power loss due to the integration of the internal combustion engine with the electric unit. Total torque peaks at 385 Nm. It is the perfect version for the USA, where plugin hybrids have sold a lot, so far. Besides, any diesel version would face a lot of resistance from the customers after Volkswagen’s Dieselgate.

 

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The Cooper S E can reach a maximum speed of 125 km/h in electric-only mode, with a range of 40 km. More than enough for most daily commutes. Recharging takes 2h15 in a Wallbox, Mini’s fast charging system, and a regular house outlet requires 3h15 to fully charge the 7.6 kWh batteries. The fuel tank holds only 35 l of gasoline, but its fuel consumption is estimated at 2.1 l/100 km, what results in a more than impressive range of 1,667 km. Besides being clean, the Countryman Cooper S E can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.9 s.

Gustavo Henrique Ruffo

I have been an automotive journalist since 1998 and have worked for many important Brazilian newspapers and magazines, such as the local edition of Car and Driver and Quatro Rodas, Brazilian's biggest car magazine. I have also worked for foreign websites, such as World Car Fans and won a few journalism prizes, among them two SAE Journalism Awards. I am the author of "The Traffic Cholesterol", a book about bad drivers that you can buy at Hotmart, Google Play, Amazon and Kobo.