Mini Countryman E Plug-In Hybrid Spotted

8 months ago by Eric Loveday 9

Mini Countryman E

Mini Countryman E (via BMWBlog via MotoringFiles)

Mini Countryman PHEV

Mini Countryman PHEV

Mini’s next electric car appears to be a plug-in hybrid version of the Countryman called the Countryman E.

Mini has never made a full-scale production plug-in vehicle, though it did release the prototype Mini E in limited volume starting back in 2008.

With the Countryman E, Mini could have a big hit on its hand.

As BMWBLOG reports (via MotoringFile):

“Using a similar version of the BMW i8’s powertrain, the MINI Countryman E will pack a 1.5 liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine that powers the front wheels through a six-speed automatic gearbox with an electric motor powering the rear wheels. A high-voltage generator mounted to the front axle will provide added boost to the engine for short periods of time, generate electricity for the battery and even act as the starter motor.”

“The gas engine at the front will develop 136 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque on its own and will get an additional 20 hp from the front-mounted motor. The rear-mounted electric motor will provide 88 hp and 122 lb-ft of torque to just the rear wheels and clever electronics will figure out how to make all of that word seamlessly.”

Electric-only range for the Countryman E is expected to be 24 miles or so on the NEDC cycle, a rather low figure, but in line with most of the other “weak” PHEVs from the BMW Group. Top speed in electric-only mode is low at only 50 MPH.

There’s no firm timeline for release of the Countryman E and pricing remains unknown at this point in time.

Source and more information on the Countryman E: MotoringFile

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9 responses to "Mini Countryman E Plug-In Hybrid Spotted"

  1. Joe says:

    How about sticking the new i3 battery in it? Or a double size version of that?
    That may get some folks excited ; -)

  2. Sten says:

    Sounds similar to the powertrain in the BMW 225e.

  3. Ken says:

    “Mini has never made a full-scale production plug-in vehicle, though it did release the prototype Mini E in limited volume starting back in 2011.”
    The Mini E was a 2008 model that we received in June of 2009. I got mine specifically on June 18th 2009. And other than the Tesla Model S, i haven’t found an electric car yet that i enjoyed as much as my Mini E ( including my Leafs and iMiev ). The Mini E was awesome even though we paid $850 a month to lease them. Bring back the fully electric Mini!

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Editing fail on my part, as I had a MINI e myself for a few weeks in ’09, lol.

      /fixed, thanks

  4. wavelet says:

    Not clear on the drivetrain here. So there are 2 motors, one rear and a small one for the front that primarily runs backwards as a generator?

    1. Just_Chris says:

      Essentially it is a normal petrol car at the front and an EV at the back. To improve the regen and make the car less jerky they oversize the starter motor / alternator and use it to push energy to the battery during braking or assist the engine when needed like during gear changes or low revs. BMW love the i8 drive train concept which in my opinion is overly complex, expensive and inefficient. What frustrates me is the fail to use the i3 drive train concept more widely. IMO this drive train is simple, efficient and would work out cheaper if they kept the battery modest (like 20kWh modest not 6 kWh pathetic). The current generator in the i3 is obviously under powered but that could be easily fixed by BMW. I bet the clubman phev has a big lump in the boot too. Hopefully they’ll start making something more compelling once the model 3 is out.

  5. Miggy says:

    And the same stats in metric:
    The Countryman E utilises the brand’s familiar 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine. The 100kW/220Nm motor drives the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.
    Also under the bonnet is a 15kW/150Nm electric generator that helps to restart the petrol engine smoothly, recharges the batteries, and provides a power boost for short periods of time.

    mini-countryman-e-leak-drivetrain

    Driving the rear wheels through a two-speed transmission is a more powerful 65kW/165Nm electric motor. Both electric motors are connected to a 7.7kWh lithium-ion battery pack located at the rear of the vehicle.

    The Countryman E will have a tailpipe emissions-free range of around 38 kilometres on a fully-charged battery. Top speed will be limited to 80km/h in EV mode.

    According to the website, the Countryman E will sprint from 0-100km/h time of 6.5 seconds, while maintaining an EU fuel economy rating of around 2.0L/100km.

    As our spy photos from earlier this year show, the new Countryman will be a bigger beast than today’s model. Based on the UKL platform, the second-generation Countryman is expected to grow from 4.1 metres long to around 4.4m in length.

  6. Deven says:

    That thing is going to be savage! 88 horsies at the rear is good. this will be a rallyable, driftable hybrid.

  7. Nix says:

    They had me hooked until the part about not being able to run in EV mode over 50 MPH. I’m sure there are people this will work for, but it kills it for me. Bummer. I really like the idea of an AWD PHEV Mini.