MINI will launch its latest and largest
model, the MINI Countryman, to the UK market on September 18 2010.
Countryman will be the fourth member of the MINI family following Hatch,
Convertible and Clubman but the first to have four doors, seating for
five adults and the first to offer four wheel drive. The MINI
Countryman will be available in seven models, two of which will offer
ALL4, MINI’s new four wheel drive option. Countryman offers more
space, more practicality and more versatility than any MINI before and
it will also spearhead MINI’s return to the World Rally Championship in
“Countryman takes the MINI
story to a new level in the brand’s 51 year heritage” said Jochen Goller,
Director of MINI UK. “With extra space, ALL4 and four doors we believe
the MINI Countryman will appeal to a completely new audience and with
prices starting at £16,000 with a very high standard specification, I
think we are on to a winner” he said. “The fact that Countryman is
already sold out for this year indicates that MINI showrooms are going
to be popular this autumn” Goller observed.
Typically MINI yet topically
One could not mistake the new
Countryman for anything other than a MINI yet it is distinctly different
to any that has gone before. It is 374mm longer than a MINI Hatch (at
4097mm), 106 mm wider (at 1,789 mm) and 154mm taller (at 1561mm).
Countryman offers 190 litres more luggage capacity than a MINI Hatch
with the seats up (a total of 350 litres) and 1,170 litres with the rear
seats folded flat. For the first time ever a MINI has four wide-opening
doors, passenger capacity for five adults and a flexible,
activity-orientated interior packed with innovations. All UK models
will be built as five seat cars, although customers can specify the four
seat option at no extra cost.
Featuring that typical ‘wheel at each
corner’ stance with short overhangs, the Countryman not only has larger
dimensions than its cousins but also a higher ride height. This
provides the commanding driving position preferred by many drivers with
a 10mm higher ground clearance for soft off-road driving.
Many design characteristics are
familiar such as the high window line surrounding the glasshouse while
others are new interpretations of iconic features. For example, the
roofline with roof rails, the reinterpretation of the hexagonal radiator
grille on the Cooper S models, and the prominent headlight units
integrated into the bonnet.
The front of the Countryman is more
upright projecting a confident ‘face’ which also offers improved
pedestrian safety. The wheel arches are more flared highlighting the
robust nature of the Countryman as a true crossover and its soft
off-road ability while the design of the wide-opening tailgate offers
easy access to the large boot space.
Inspirational engines -
powerful responses and supreme economy in equal measure
At launch the Countryman range will
include three petrol – MINI One, Cooper and Cooper S - and two diesel
models – MINI One D and Cooper D - as well as two ALL4 all wheel drive
models, the Cooper D ALL4 and Cooper S ALL4. Each model is equipped
with an entirely new generation of power units. The petrol engines are
the new 1.6 litre four cylinder power plants already announced for the
Hatch, Convertible and Clubman models in spring 2010 and feature the BMW
Group’s considerable expertise in marrying free-revving, refined and
efficient driving characteristics.
The petrol engines all feature Variable
Valve Timing (VVT), similar to the BMW Valvetronic system, and produces
more torque low down and aids response and efficiency. The Cooper S
model also benefits from a twin-scroll turbocharger and direct fuel
injection that gives blistering performance with modest fuel economy and
low CO² emissions.
The diesel models are powered by an
all-new BMW 1.6 litre four cylinder, the N47 turbocharged unit that
employs all the BMW Group’s proven prowess with compression ignition
engines. The lightweight aluminium engines use common-rail direct
injection and a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry. Both are
fitted with a diesel particulate filter and an oxidation catalytic
converter. These state of the art diesel power units set the highest
standards, not only for performance and response but also for fuel
economy and low emissions. The Cooper D Countryman will be available
with an automatic transmission in March 2011.
All MINI Countryman models drive
through a six speed manual gearbox. A six speed automatic transmission
is available as an option for the petrol-engined cars.
All Countryman engines meet EU5
emissions standards. The key performance data are listed below.