PressClub South Africa · Article.
Driving fun for every occasion: The new MINI Countryman.
25.10.2016 Press Kit
As the new generation of the MINI Countryman sees its premiere, the tradition-steeped British brand continues its advance into the premium compact segment. The new MINI Countryman is the biggest and most versatile model in the brand’s 57-year history. Having been completely newly developed, it now reflects considerable advancements in the areas of space, functionality, athletic flair and premium characteristics.
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As the new generation of the MINI Countryman sees its premiere,
the tradition-steeped British brand continues its advance into the
premium compact segment. The new MINI Countryman is the biggest and
most versatile model in the brand’s 57-year history. Having been
completely newly developed, it now reflects considerable
advancements in the areas of space, functionality, athletic flair
and premium characteristics.
The new MINI Countryman (combined fuel consumption: 7.0 – 2.1 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 159 – 49 g/km) achieves its unique standing among direct competitors due to its powerfully expressive design, efficiently shaped bodywork and in particular its unmatched driving agility. The latest version of the all-wheel drive system ALL4 ensures driving fun beyond paved roads, too. What is more, the new MINI Countryman is the first model of the brand to be available with a plug-in hybrid drive. In the form of the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 it has a range of up to 40 kilometres running on electrical power alone.
The new MINI Countryman – an overview of the innovations.
– Powerful proportions, 20 centimetres longer than its predecessor.
– Five fully-fledged seats, clear increase in space and versatility.
– Electrical tailgate control as well as touchless opening and closing of the tailgate.
– MINI Picnic Bench: fold-out load loading sill cushion as a comfortable seat on the luggage compartment lid and for general outdoor use.
– MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4: the first ever MINI with plug-in hybrid drive.
– New generation of engines and gearboxes, efficiency-optimised all-wheel drive system ALL4.
– Central instrument with touchscreen function for the first time.
– MINI Country Timer measures driving fun over demanding terrain.
– MINI Connected App as a personal assistant on a day-to-day basis and when travelling.
– MINI Find Mate: everything you need on board at all times – or in view.
20 centimetres longer than the predecessor model.
The new MINI Countryman is some 20 centimetres longer than its predecessor and approximately 3 centimetres wider. Its wheelbase has been extended by 7.5 centimetres. This growth results in significantly increased space on five fully-fledged seats as well as a definite increase in storage volume and luggage transport versatility. The raised seating position ensures an excellent view and hallmark driving fun. The rear seats can be shifted longitudinally by up to 13 centimetres. The folding rear backrest offers a 40 : 20 : 40 split. It also provides a variable tilt angle so as to be able to either increase seating comfort or gain additional storage space at the rear. The luggage compartment volume is 450 litres and can be extended as required to a total of 1,309 litres. This constitutes a maximum increase of 220 litres as compared to the predecessor model.
Five seats in the interior, two on the Picnic Bench.
An electric tailgate control is available as an option. This makes touchless opening and closing of the tailgate possible in conjunction with Comfort Access. The optional storage package comprises not only a variable load floor, lashing eyes and tension straps but also a stainless steel insert on the loading sill. One unique option is the Picnic Bench – a flexible surface that folds out of the luggage compartment and provides seating for two people.
World premiere in LA, market launch in February 2017.
The new MINI Countryman sees its world premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show on 18 November 2016. The market launch in Europe follows in February 2017. From March 2017 onwards the new MINI Countryman will also be taking roads and tracks by storm outside Europe.
MINI Countryman: a successful model with traditional roots.
Even with its model designation, the new edition of the MINI Countryman remains firmly rooted in the tradition of the British brand. A particularly versatile variant of the classic Mini once bore the same name back in the 1960s. Just like the identically constructed Morris Mini Traveller, the Austin Seven Countryman had a highly versatile interior, and the version with wood frame panelling – popularly known as “Woody” – attained cult status that it continues to enjoy to this day. The MINI Countryman likewise offered additional ways of enjoying the brand’s hallmark driving fun when it was launched in 2010. It was the first MINI with four doors, a large tailgate, five seats and optional all-wheel drive and a total of more than 540 000 were sold worldwide.
Powerful proportions, matured character.
The latest generation of the MINI Countryman goes even further in terms of the model’s versatility, agility and premium character. Thanks to its powerful proportions, the new MINI Countryman has a particularly distinctive presence. Its unmistakable aura is defined by an extended ground clearance and raised seating position, further emphasised by the MINI ALL4 exterior look and high roof rails. The new MINI Countryman features design elements that are typical of the brand, including the clear three-way structure of the side view – broken down into roof, glass section and main corpus – as well as the short overhangs, large wheel arches and downward increase in width. Precise contours on the generous surfaces create an attractive play of light and shade that underscores the car's athletic shaping and the vertical orientation of the body. The selection of body finishes includes the variants Island Blue metallic and Chestnut, which are now available for a MINI for the first time. “The new MINI Countryman has essentially grown in size. But it was still possible to retain the typical MINI proportions,” says Julius Schluppkotten, MINI Countryman project manager.
Numerous model-specific design elements such as the striking helmet roof, the upright rear lights, the hexagonal radiator grille and the large headlamps have undergone evolutionary development. The side turn indicator surrounds known as side scuttles exhibit a new arrow-like shape. The roof rails in satin-finished aluminium are combined with silver-coloured side sill tops, thereby lending greater visual emphasis to the car’s height. Horizontal lines dominate at the rear, with the vertically arranged light units providing an appealing contrast.
LED headlamps with peripheral daytime driving light ring for the first time.
The striking profile of the headlamp units deviates from the circular shape that is otherwise typical of the brand. Their distinctive, slightly asymmetrically rounded contour goes together with the radiator grille to produce an unmistakable front view. The parking lights integrated in the air inlets are used for the daytime driving light as standard. In conjunction with the optional LED headlamps, the latter is generated for the first time by a band of light running entirely around each headlamp.
More space for premium ambience.
In the interior of the new MINI Countryman, a clear increase in space, refined premium ambience and a modern display and operating concept reflect the progress achieved through the change of generation. Both driver and front passenger benefit from extended head and shoulder space, while the adjustment range of the seats has also been enlarged. Electrical adjustment of the driver and front passenger seats is optionally available, including a memory function on the driver's side. The narrow body columns and the high seating position make for optimum visibility when manoeuvring. At the rear of the new MINI Countryman there are three fully-fledged seats. The rear door openings have been enlarged as compared to the predecessor model, now enabling a more convenient entrance and exit. In addition to interior width, leg space is now significantly more generous, too.
The extensive storage facilities likewise contribute to the car’s optimised functionality. At both front and rear there are door pockets that hold one-litre beverage bottles. The fully-fledged centre console extending up to the instrument panel has an integrated storage compartment and two cup holders in front of the gear or selector lever. The MINI Controller and the switch for the electrical parking brake are also positioned on the centre console. “The interior of the new MINI Countryman emphasises the car's suitability for families and as a primary vehicle. The sense of quality in the interior has been significantly enhanced, too” says Julius Schluppkotten, MINI Countryman project manager.
Distinctive cockpit design.
With a clear horizontal structure, stretched lines and generously sized surfaces, the distinctively designed cockpit emphasises the solid character of the new MINI Countryman. The profile of the air vents echoes the vertical orientation of the exterior design elements. In addition to the high-quality materials and precise finish, the modern, ergonomically optimised controls contribute to the car’s exclusive ambience. The hallmark central instrument is integrated in the instrument panel and is surrounded by an LED ring that provides a lighting display in response to driving situations by way of control feedback. This forms part of the MINI Excitement Package, which also comprises the LED ambient lighting and a projection of the MINI logo from the exterior mirror on the driver’s side when opening and closing the car.
Market launch with four engines.
The new edition of the MINI Countryman lines up for the start featuring entirely newly developed engine technology. For the market launch there are two petrol and two diesel engines of the latest generation available to choose from, each with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology:
MINI Cooper Countryman: 3-cylinder petrol engine, capacity: 1 499 cc,
output: 100 kW, max. torque: 220 Nm.
MINI Cooper S Countryman: 4-cylinder petrol engine, capacity: 1 998 cc,
output: 141 kW, max. torque: 280 Nm.
The range also includes the first ever MINI with plug-in hybrid drive:
MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4: 3-cylinder petrol engine, capacity: 1 499 cc, output: 100 kW, synchronous electric motor, output: 65 kW, system output: 165 kW, system torque: 385 Nm.
As an alternative to the standard 6-speed manual transmission, a 6-speed Steptronic transmission is also offered for the new MINI Cooper Countryman. An 8-speed Steptronic transmission is available for the new MINI Cooper S Countryman.
The latest generation of engines and transmissions gives the new MINI Countryman a perceptible increase in temperament as well as measurable improvements in terms of driving performance figures. For example, the new MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 with 8-speed Steptronic transmission sprints in 7.2 seconds from zero to 100 km/h – making it 0.9 seconds faster than its predecessor model. In spite of a significant increase not just in sporty flair but also in space, comfort and fittings, virtually all the engine variants demonstrate further optimised fuel efficiency as compared to their respective predecessor. Depending on the engine, the reduction in fuel consumption amounts to as much as 1.4 litres per 100 kilometres. The figures for the new MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 with plug-in hybrid drive are even lower.
The new all-wheel drive system ALL4: fast and precise, compact and efficient.
The new MINI Countryman also achieves outstanding efficiency figures in conjunction with the all-wheel drive system ALL4, which is optionally available for all engine variants. The new version of the all-wheel drive system not only reacts quickly and precisely to changing situations, it is also compact and offers a high level of internal efficiency. It consists of a power take-off unit integrated in the front axle differential, a propeller shaft leading to the rear axle and a hang-on clutch that ensures precisely measured transmission of the drive torque to the rear wheels. The system's electronic control is interconnected with the Dynamic Stability Control DSC, so it detects any need to adapt power distribution early on. In this way, ALL4 optimises both traction and stability in adverse weather and road surface conditions, as well as ensuring improved agility when taking bends in dynamic style.
Electric and electrifying: the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4.
In addition to this, the new generation of the MINI Countryman also paves the way to driving fun that is locally emissions-free. The plug-in hybrid drive of the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 enables purely electric driving at a top speed of 125 km/h. The spontaneously initiating, long-lasting and virtually noiseless power delivery of the electric motor provides an entirely new, ground-breaking perspective on the hallmark MINI go-kart feeling. No less fascinating is the precisely controlled interaction between the electric motor and the combustion engine of the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4. The 65 kW electric motor directs its power via a single-speed transmission to the rear axle while a 3-cylinder petrol engine with an output of 100 kW connected to a 6-speed Steptronic transmission drives the front wheels. This combination produces an electrified all-wheel drive that ensures an optimum balance between driving fun and efficiency at all times. The fuel consumption of the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 as calculated according to the EU test cycle is 2.1 litres per 100 kilometres, while its CO2 emissions figure 49 grams per kilometre.
Driving fun made to measure: Dynamic Damper Control and MINI Driving Modes.
The high-quality suspension of the new MINI Countryman combines the tried-and-tested principle of a single-joint spring strut axle at the front and a multilink rear axle with a design that is optimised for weight and rigidity as well as a model-specific set up. This lays the foundation for precise handling properties and maximum agility. In addition to this there is an electromechanical steering with Servotronic function, powerful brakes and Dynamic Stability Control DSC. 16-inch light alloy wheels come as standard with the new MINI Cooper Countryman, while the other model variants are fitted with 17-inch light alloy wheels. The program of optional extras includes other light alloy wheels in sizes of up to 19 inches.
Dynamic Damper Control is optionally available for the new MINI Countryman. Two program maps can be activated for the electronically controlled dampers via the likewise optional MINI Driving Modes. A rotary switch at the base of the gear or selector lever enables the driver to select a set-up according to one of the three modes MID, SPORT and GREEN. This also influences the accelerator pedal and steering curve, the operating mode of electrically powered comfort features and the engine sound and shift characteristics of the Steptronic transmission, depending on engine and fittings.
MINI Driving Modes in detail.
Electric comfort function
Premiere: central instrument with touchscreen display.
The standard fittings of the new MINI Countryman include the Radio MINI Boost with four-line display in the central instrument and a Bluetooth hands-free telephone facility. Options include the Radio MINI Visual Boost with 6.5-inch colour display, the Harman Kardon hi-fi speaker system, the MINI navigation system and the MINI navigation system Professional. The features of the Wired package including MINI navigation system Professional comprise not just the Touch Controller on the centre console but also an 8.8-inch colour screen in the central instrument with a new graphic design. It is also a touchscreen, allowing functions to be selected and adjusted at the tip of the finger.
Registers driving fun over demanding terrain: the MINI Country Timer.
In conjunction with the Wired package and the MINI navigation system Professional it is possible to use another function developed exclusively for the MINI Countryman that taps into the new model’s all-round talent in a way that is both innovative and entertaining. The MINI Country Timer registers all travel over sloping, uneven, unsurfaced and snow-covered roads and tracks. As soon as the new MINI Countryman moves on demanding terrain, the type and extent of the challenge are detected and shown on the display in the central instrument by means of graphics. “The driver can then read off on the on-board computer how long and how intensively they have driven over this type of surface,” explains Julius Schluppkotten, MINI Countryman project manager. The driving situation is analysed based on data supplied by the control unit of the Dynamic Stability Control function. In this way it is possible to observe how fast and how persistent the new MINI Countryman is surpassing the status of “Street Cruiser” and striving to achieve the “Cliff Champ” category.
Modern driver assistance systems, high-quality options for increased comfort.
Driving fun in the new MINI Countryman is based not just on versatility but also on safety and comfort. The standard and optional driver assistance systems are a key factor here. The standard collision warning with city braking function can be extended to include the Driving Assistant system with camera-based active cruise control, pedestrian warning with initial brake function, high beam assistant and road sign detection. In addition to this, Park Distance Control, rear view camera, Parking Assistant and Head-Up-Display are also optionally available.
The program of optional equipment items further includes a 2-zone automatic air conditioning, a panorama glass roof and an alarm system including red LED status indicator in the fin antenna. A tow hitch with removable ball head is likewise available. Depending on the engine type, the permitted trailer load is between 1 500 and 1 800 kilograms. The broad range of exterior paint finishes, seat upholstery types and interior surfaces enables individualisation of the new MINI Countryman in a way that reflects personal style. With the MINI Yours Interior Styles option available in three variants, the striking interior surface design in the cockpit is highlighted by means of backlit decorative strips. An atmospheric mood is also created by the optional lighting package comprising LED interior lighting and LED ambient lighting; the latter forms part of the optional MINI Excitement Package and offers continuously variable colour adjustment.
New from MINI Connected: personal mobility assistant and MINI Find Mate.
Connectivity also moves into a new dimension with the launch of the new MINI Countryman. MINI Connected now goes beyond the familiar in-car infotainment functions to become a personal mobility assistant as part of a holistic concept that provides support for individual mobility planning outside the vehicle, too. Based on a flexible platform, the Open Mobility Cloud, MINI Connected integrates the vehicle seamlessly into the MINI driver’s digital life via touchpoints such as the Apple iPhone and Apple Watch.
At the heart of this connectivity in the new MINI Countryman lies MINI Connected, the personal mobility assistant available to MINI drivers with new innovative services as of October 2016. Here, individual mobility planning enables punctual, stress-free arrival at appointments. And mobility doesn’t start in the car: MINI Connected informs the driver of the optimum departure time based on calendar entries and current traffic data. Address data and appointments saved by the driver previously on a smartphone via MINI Connected are automatically transferred to the car and do not have to be entered in the navigation system again. MINI Connected can also save regularly visited places as favourite destinations and it detects frequently covered routes such as the daily run between home and work so as to be able to inform the driver in the event of unexpected traffic delays.
Another new feature in the area of connectivity is MINI Find Mate. This forms part of the Wired package and consists of so-called tags with a wireless tracking function that can be attached to frequently used objects and travel items such as bags, cases, key rings and rucksacks. MINI Find Mate is able to track the location of any such objects connected to the system that the driver wants to be sure not to forget: tracking is done not only on the on-board computer of the MINI Countryman but also on a smartphone. Providing there is a Bluetooth connection with the tag, an acoustic signal can be activated in the car or on the smartphone to help locate the object. If the tag is outside the Bluetooth range, the driver can be guided to the place at which a connection was last detected.
The new MINI Countryman will be available in South Africa in March 2017.
The new MINI Countryman: combined fuel consumption: 7.0 – 2.1 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 159 – 49 g/km Note: All figures for driving performance, fuel consumption and emissions that appear in this media information are provisional.
For further details on official fuel consumption figures, official specific CO2 emissions and power consumption of new cars, please refer to the "Manual on fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and power consumption of new cars", available at all sales outlets, from Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH (DAT), Hellmuth-Hirth-Str. 1, 73760 Ostfildern-Scharnhausen and at http://www.dat.de/angebote/verlagsprodukte/leitfaden-kraftstoffverbrauch.html. Manual CO2 (PDF - 2.7 MB)