Last year's Mini Countryman, Image Credit: Autoblog
Andreas-Cristoph Hoffman, Mini's global head of brand communications, confirmed the addition of a plug in soon:
"We will see a plug-in hybrid for Mini pretty soon, and not with any of the models we have launched so far."
BMW 225xe Active Tourer
Although he didn't verify 100%, it is clear that the next-generation Countryman SUV will be the electrified model. He explained that the Countryman would benefit most as a hybrid due to its gas-guzzling large size and AWD.
The Countryman will be released in 2017, but not likely in plug-in hybrid form initially. It will use the same plug-in hybrid powertrain as the BMW 225xe Active Tourer. Hoffman said:
"We are not going to invent anything new for just one brand, and as you know we are benefiting quite a lot from the development of technologies within the BMW group for both brands. So we will rely on a known component to make it a financially viable project."
Like the BMW 2-series, the entry-level Countryman will be powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder gas or diesel engine. This plug-in hybrid system has an overall output of 165 kW (224 hp). The maximum electric range is 41 kilometers (25 miles) on the NEDC test cycle. Acceleration is rated at 0-100 km/h (0-62 MPH) in 6.7 seconds.
The next-gen Countryman will be larger and could even offer a seven-seat option.