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Frankfurt show: More range for Mini Countryman PHEV

Cell-ebration: Mini will mark 60 years since the iconic original at the Frankfurt motor show while eyeing the future with public debuts of its all-electric Cooper SE hatch and an upgraded Countryman plug-in hybrid.

Mini ups electric-only range of plug-in hybrid Cooper S E Countryman by 30 per cent


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2 Sep 2019

MINI will debut an updated version of its Cooper S E Countryman plug-in hybrid SUV packing 30 per cent greater battery range at the Frankfurt motor show later this month, where the pure-electric Mini Cooper SE hatch will also make its first public appearance.


Depending on equipment and wheels fitted, the plug-in Countryman is now claimed to be capable of between 55km and 57km on a full charge courtesy of a battery capacity upgrade from 7.7kWh to 10kWh wrought by upgraded, more efficient lithium-ion cell technology.


The flow-on effect of this is a 20 per cent drop in combined fuel consumption, which now ranges from 1.9L/100km to 2.1 litres per 100km and CO2 emissions of 34-47 grams per kilometre.


As the Countryman’s 0-100km/h time of 6.8 seconds remains unchanged, it appears Mini has carried over the original 100kW/220Nm 1.5-litre turbo-petrol three cylinder petrol engine and 65kW/165Nm electric motor that develop combined outputs of 165kW and 385Nm.


Mini says it tapped parent company BMW Group’s latest battery technology to increase the Countryman’s capacity and range without increasing the dimensions of the battery pack, which is stored beneath the rear seats.


The upgraded energy density has increased the duration required for a full recharge from 3.25 hours to about five when using standard domestic socket. A wallbox charger reduces this to 3.25 hours compared with 2.25h for the outgoing version.


BMW Group Australia product communications manager Nick Raman remained coy on whether the full-electric hatch would launch in Australia, but the local outfit is known to be keen on pushing electrification in this market.


Mr Raman said the plug-in hybrid Countryman was “generating lots of interest from customers” in Australia and had been well-received since it launched here in April.


As the facelifted Countryman range is due to launch in Australia during the fourth quarter of this year, the upgraded plug-in hybrid variant could join the line-up at that point or shortly afterward.


During the Frankfurt show, Mini will celebrate 60 years since the iconic original was launched while the public debut of two new and updated electrified models will also shine a light on the brand’s next six decades.


As reported, the all-electric Mini Cooper SE runs a 32.6kWh battery pack, enabling a driving range of 235-270km under the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Testing Procedure (WLTP).


Driving its front wheels is a 135kW/270Nm electric motor good for 0-100km/h in 7.3 seconds, placing the battery-powered Mini between the three-cylinder Cooper and four-cylinder Cooper S in performance terms.


Its dual-zone climate control system includes a heat pump for efficiently heating the passenger compartment and cabin temperature can be remotely pre-set while the vehicle is plugged in. Also standard are sat-nav, LED headlights, a digital instrument cluster, and an electric park brake plus “numerous driver assistance systems”.


In addition, four equipment packages will also be available globally at launch, which will shortly follow the start of production at Mini’s Oxford plant in England this November.

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