Plug-in SUV due Down Under in Q2 2019
UPDATE, 13/7/18: Mini's local division has confirmed the plug-in Countryman will be available from Q2 2019, along with supplying some local images. See article for details.
BMW Group Australia has confirmed the Mini Countryman S E All4 PHEV (deep breath) is coming to Australia, due to land in the second quarter of next year.
Speaking at the local launch of the updated Mini Hatch and Convertible in Brisbane this week, Marc Werner, CEO for BMW Group Australia, said the plug-in SUV is part of the brand's push to expand its electrified portfolio.
"We have been looking at the Mini plug-in hybrid now for some time, and the feedback that we have from our dealers, and our customers, is really positive," he said.
"Of course you know that, as part of the BMW Group, we are committed to broadening our range of low emissions vehicles, so it makes sense for us to bring the vehicle here, and give our customers the opportunity to choose a more environmentally friendly vehicle."
"As for timing, or final details – we’re not quite there yet. But we can say that we are keen to bring the vehicle in, and we will see it here in the first half of 2019," he added.
A handful of Cooper S E All4 Countrymans have been in Australia for the last 12 months for evaluation, and it seems the local division has finally been given the green light to introduce the petrol-electric variant here.
Power in the Countryman PHEV comes from a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine teamed to a synchronous electric motor, boasting power outputs of 100kW and 65kW respectively.
Mini quotes a system power output of 165kW, while torque is rated at a meaty 385Nm. There's no confirmed 0-100 time, though Mini claims a fuel consumption figure of just 2.1L/100km on the combined cycle.
In terms of zero emissions performance, the Countryman S E All4 claims an all-electric driving range of up to 42 kilometres, and is capable of driving solely on electric power at speeds of up to 125km/h.
The petrol engine sends drive to the front wheels via a modified six-speed Steptronic automatic, while the electric motor turns the rear axle via a two-stage single-speed transmission.
Under the rear seat sits the lithium-ion battery pack, rated at 7.6kWh in capacity. Mini claims the battery can be charged in 2.5 hours using a 3.6kW wallbox charger, while a conventional house outlet takes 3.25 hours.
Like BMW's iPerformance models, the Countryman S E All4 has several drive modes to toggle the hybrid system, including Auto eDrive, Max eDrive and Save Battery.
Auto allows for pure-electric driving up to 80km/h, with the petrol engine engaged for higher speeds, hard acceleration, or when battery charge falls below 7.0 per cent.
Max, meanwhile, uses electric power at up to 125km/h, with the petrol engine enabled at higher speeds or "on kickdown" for overtaking or hard acceleration.
Finally, "Save Battery' does just that, save the battery charge. The vehicle is powered by the combustion engine to keep battery charge at above 90 per cent.
Stay tuned to CarAdvice for a full pricing and specifications breakdown closer to launch in the new year.
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