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PressClub South Africa · Article.

The new MINI Countryman now available in South Africa.

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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MINI Countryman
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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 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

– New generation of engines and gearboxes, an efficiency-optimised all-wheel drive system ALL4 will be available with the MINI Countryman John Cooper Works which will be available from June 2017.

-  A 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.

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 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 three 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 one 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

*MINI Cooper D Countryman: 4-cylinder diesel engine, capacity: 1 995 cc, output: 110 kW, max. torque: 330 Nm.

*available in the third quarter of 2017

The range also includes the first ever MINI with plug-in hybrid drive, which will be available in South Africa in 2018.

The new MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 features a 3-cylinder petrol engine with a capacity of 1 499 cc, an output of 100 kW, a synchronous electric motor, and an output: 65 kW, system output: 165 kW system torque: 385 Nm.

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