Mini launches first plug-in hybrid 26 | 10 | 2016

    MINI HAS LAUNCHED its first-ever plug-in hybrid model, the Countryman SE hybrid. Capable of 0-62mph in just 6.9secs, the newcomer can cover 25 miles on electric power only.

    The Countryman SE hybrid model offers all-wheel drive by combining the three-cylinder 1.5-litre 136bhp petrol engine with a six-speed automatic transmission, which drives the front wheels.


    Meanwhile, there’s also an 88bhp electric motor mounted on the back axle and driving the rear wheels through a two-speed transmission. The new technology draws on expertise gained from the development of BMW iPerformance cars.

    At full power, with both engines running, hybrid Countryman has combined peak outputs of 224bhp and 284lb/ft of torque. In electric-only mode, it has a top speed of 78mph.

    Mini has mounted the hybrid’s lithium ion battery under the slightly raised rear seat; the 7.6kWh unit can be recharged in 3hr 15min from an ordinary wall plug and in 2hr 15min via a specialist wall box.


    But there’s a price to be paid in the size of the car’s petrol tank. Because the batteries have been located under the rear seats, the hybrid model’s fuel tank has been shrunk to just 35 litres. The hybrid’s official EU figures are 49g/km of CO2 emissions and combined fuel economy of 134.5mpg.

    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 fired-up.

    In MAX eDRIVE mode the vehicle is powered by the electric motor alone at speeds up to 78mph.

    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% so that sufficient electrical power remains for purely electric driving later on.


    “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,” Uwe Seitz, Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 project manager, said. “This is unique in the segment.”

    Related: Mini to launch plug-in hybrid

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    Jim McGill


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