Agile, Versatile, Electrifying; The New Mini Countryman Plugin Hybrid
By Maddy Price
Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 13:41
Hallmark MINI driving experience with zero tailpipe emissions, the new MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 is the first plug-in hybrid model offered by the premium British brand. This new Countryman model provides the option of purely electric and therefore emissions-free mobility.
Propulsion is shared between a 3-cylinder petrol engine and a synchronous electric motor. Together they produce a system output of 224 hp. Equally impressive is the average fuel consumption of 134.5 mpg and the CO2 emissions figure of 49 grams per kilometre (EU test cycle figures for plug-in hybrid vehicles), yet also enabling a 0-62 mph time of just 6.9 seconds.
The MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 is the perfect vehicle for those who wish to enjoy the benefits of purely electric mobility when commuting between home and work every day for example, while at the same time benefiting from unlimited long-distance suitability at the weekend.
MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 combines the space and practicality of the largest model in the MINI range with the sustainability of BMW Group eDrive technology and an electrified all-wheel drive system.
The front wheels are powered by the combustion engine, the rear wheels by the electric motor. MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 is able to run on electricity alone not just in urban traffic, but for long distances too – at a top speed of 78 mph and with a range of up to 25 miles. Drawing on the power of both drive forms, it offers driving fun away from surfaced roads as well.
“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.
MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4: the highlights.
- The brand’s first ever plug-in hybrid model
- High-quality BMW Group eDrive components developed specifically for MINI Countryman that draw on expertise gained from the development of BMW iPerformance automobiles
- 3-cylinder petrol engine and electric motor combine to produce a total system output of 224 hp
- Fuel consumption in the EU test cycle: 134.5 mpg, CO2 emissions: 49 g/km
- Electric driving at speeds of up to 78 mph with a range of up to 25 miles
- Innovative driving experience due to the electrified all-wheel drive system ALL4
- Three operating modes available for selection via eDrive toggle switch
- High standard equipment, including satellite navigation and Hybrid-specific displays
MINI is a pioneer in the field of electric mobility.
The BMW Group’s technological expertise and range of models already on offer are evidence of the company’s leading role in the area of electric mobility. MINI was an early pioneer of these developments: the MINI E presented in 2008 was the BMW Group’s first ever purely electrically powered automobile and was driven by private users in everyday traffic as part of a large-scale field experiment. More than 600 of the MINI E, based on the MINI Cooper Hatch, were used for practical testing purposes worldwide. The project yielded vital insights into the use of electrically powered automobiles which were incorporated in the development of the BMW i3.
MINI TwinPower Turbo and eDrive technology combined.
The plug-in hybrid drive of the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 combines the best of a 3-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor. The space under the bonnet 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 this provides a peak output of 136 hp. The maximum torque of the engine is 220 Newton metres, which goes on stream at 1,250 rpm. In the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4, the combustion engine is combined with a modified 6-speed Steptronic transmission which transfers its power to the front wheels.
The second power unit of the MINI S E Countryman ALL4 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 a high output of 88 hp -considering the size and weight of the car – and generates a maximum torque of 165 Nm that is available from standing. In addition, it provides constant power delivery even during 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.
Lithium-ion battery: compact, powerful and produced using BMW Group expertise.
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. Like the electric motor, it is produced at the Dingolfing plant, the BMW Group’s competence centre for eDrive technology. The high-voltage battery has a capacity of 7.6 kWh. At a wallbox with a charging capacity of 3.6 kW it can be fully charged in 2:15 hours. Charging at a regular household socket takes 3:15 hours.
Intelligent energy management provides fun driving and excellent efficiency.
The intelligent energy management system controlled by the power electronics of the plug-in hybrid system ensures that the interplay between the combustion engine and the electric motor is optimised for both driving fun and efficiency in all situations. Using the power of the electric motor alone, the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 is able to provide locally emissions-free driving, and in the event that more intense acceleration is required, the electric motor supports the combustion engine via a boost function. A total system output of 224 hp and a combined torque of 385 Nm are available. The MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 accelerates from 0-62mph in just 6.9 seconds.
Two power units, four drive wheels.
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 optimise traction, ride stability and agility. The signal required for this purpose comes from the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) unit, which continuously analyses both the situation on the road and the commands of the driver. “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 precisely controlled interaction achieved in the powering of the front wheels by the combustion engine and the rear wheels by the electric motor is the same as the principle that is applied in the BMW i8, only the other way around: it is a key factor that contributes to the captivating character of the plug-in hybrid sports car.
The eDrive toggle switch: purely electric power at the press of a button.
The driver can also use the eDrive toggle switch to choose between three operating modes.
|AUTO eDRIVE||Purely electric driving up to 50 mph. The combustion engine is automatically enabled when necessary, for example when accelerating quickly or when the battery charge falls below seven per cent.|
|MAX eDRIVE||Purely electric driving up to 78 mph, the combustion engine is additionally enabled at higher speeds or on kickdown.|
|SAVE BATTERY||The car is powered by the combustion engine.|
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 78 mph. Finally, 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 purely electric driving later on.
When route guidance is activated on MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 standard-fit navigation system, the anticipatory energy management system ensures that appropriate sections of the route are run on electric power alone. Taking the data from the navigation system into account, the operating strategy of the hybrid system is geared towards drawing on the energy capacity of the high-voltage battery to maximum extent.
Versatile in the interior, too.
Thanks to the compact structure and arrangement of the eDrive components, the plug-in hybrid model variant of the new MINI Countryman has a versatile interior. The high-voltage battery is housed underneath the slightly raised rear seat, as is the 35-litre fuel tank. When all seats are in use, the luggage compartment volume in the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 is only slightly less than in the conventionally powered model variants. The rear backrests offer the possibility of a 40 : 20 : 40 split; they can also be folded down and varied in their tilt angle. “The entire hybrid technology is installed in such a way that you don’t notice it inside the car at all,” says Uwe Seitz, MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 project manager, “with the exception of the controls used to activate the various driving modes.”
Hybrid-specific design features and displays.
Discreet but equally unmistakable indications of the car’s unique drive form are provided by the model-specific design features on the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 exterior. The connection for the charging cable is under a flap in the area of the left-hand side scuttle. Other features are the model-specific “e” badge on the side scuttles and also a yellow “S” in the model inscription on the rear as well as on the radiator grille and door sill finishers.
Inside, the cockpit includes a yellow start/stop unit at the centre 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 MINI Visual boost Radio featuring a 6.5-inch colour screen in the central instrument. This 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 Media package including MINI navigation system XL, 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 centre console.
Efficiency meets individual style.
The MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 combines highly efficient driving fun with versatile space and all the other advancements that characterise the new edition of the all-round model for the premium compact segment. Its powerfully expressive design and optimised use of space are just as striking as its increased ride comfort and refined premium ambience.
The MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 comes with the MINI Driving Modes as standard. Regardless of the operating mode selected via eDrive toggle switch, the vehicle set-up can be adapted to a particularly sporty or efficient driving style, according to preference.
MINI CooperS E CountrymanALL4:
3-cylinder petrol engine, capacity: 1 499 cc, output: 100 kW/136 hp, synchronous electric motor, output: 65 kW/88 hp, system output: 165 kW/224 hp, system torque: 385 Nm.Manufacturer Profile Latest Car News