Mini to launch plug-in hybrid 18 | 10 | 2016

    MINI HAS PREVIEWED its first plug-in hybrid Countryman SUV model, with the company stating the car “offers a glimpse into a future that is charged with excitement for Mini customers and those drivers yet to experience the thrill of a hybrid”. The car is expected to go on-sale next year.

    The car, at an advanced stage of development, was unveiled by Sebastian Mackensen, head of Mini brand management, and Peter Wolf, head of Mini series management.


    “With this model we want to convince Mini customers of the benefits of hybrid drive”, Mackensen said, “and impress everyone who already has hybrid driving experience with MINI’s unique go-kart driving feel.”

    The new car will provide electric power to the rear wheels, and petrol power to the front. Auto eDrive standard mode permits speeds of up to 50mph, whilst in Max eDrive mode speeds of up to 75mph are possible.

    “In a hybrid Mini model, driving electrically must also be an exhilarating experience,” Mackensen continued. “This means that entirely electric driving is not limited to speeds of 30 or 40km/h, but to speeds well beyond city traffic pace."


    There’s also a third mode, Save Battery. The combustion engine powers the car whilst at the same time, the high voltage battery can retain charge at a constant level or increase charge via a generator. Extended driving in Save Battery mode enables enough power generation for purely electric driving later.

    The Countryman will not be the first electric model for Mini: the Mini E was trialled in London with a select pool of 40 customers from 2009-2011, but was never available for mainstream sale.

    Related: New BMWi opens in Scotland

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    Jim McGill

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