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