The second generation of Mini’s soft crossover, the bigger and more robust 2017 Countryman, has been revealed a few weeks ahead of its world debut at the LA Auto Show in mid-November.
The 2017 Countryman is 200mm longer and 30mm wider than its predecessor, while its wheelbase has been extended by 75mm, growing it closer in size to regular compact SUVs like Audi’s Q3. Ground clearance has also been increased from 150mm to 165mm.
The significantly increased space means that the boot’s volume is up to 450 liters from 230 litres and has 1 309 liters when the seats are folded. There is also an added, interesting ‘picnic seat’ that can be folded out of the boot when the car is stationary, allowing two people to perch on it.
Mini says familiar engine options will be available at launch. The Mini Cooper Countryman, for instance, employs the brand’s 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, delivering 100 kW and 220 Nm. The Cooper S variant uses the 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, delivering 141kW and 280Nm.
For the first time, Mini also offers a plug-in hybrid powertrain option in the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 model (pictured below). This derivative uses the same 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine as the Cooper, but adds a 65 kW electric motor on the rear axle, delivering a total output of 165kW and 385Nm. The plug-in hybrid drive enables purely electric driving at a top speed of 125km/h with a range of 40km.
The new Countryman will be launched in South Africa in March 2017.