Mini has released an SUV (or crossover utility vehicle–CUV–to be exact) called the Countryman. This four-door Mini on steroids hits spot for the post-Hummer SUV era, comprised of drivers chagrined at fuel inefficiency, but who still want the safe, fun perspective an SUV offers. Driving Sports reports:
The Countryman will be the first model in the MINI family with four doors. The Countryman will also feature a “slightly elevated” seating position, and optimized driving comfort. In other words, mommies (AKA CUV buyers) are going to love it because it’s car-seat friendly and gives them the “up-high” perspective they loved about their GMC Yukon, but with better gas mileage.
The more interesting features include the optional MINI ALL4 all wheel drive and 184 horsepower in the Cooper S Countryman. The latest 1.6-litre four-cylinder S engine comes with a twin-scroll turbocharger and direct fuel injection, and also fully variable valve management. The Countryman also includes optional Brake Energy Regeneration, Auto Start Stop, a gearshift point indicator, and on-demand management of the engine’s ancillary units. The standard Getrag six-speed manual gearbox is featured as standard, but you can also get your Countryman with a six-speed automatic, complete with Steptronic paddle shifting.
The new ALL4 all-wheel drive system is an electronically controlled hydraulic center differential positioned directly on the final drive, capable of varying the distribution from front to rear in an infinite process. Under normal driving conditions up to 50 per cent of the engine’s power goes to the rear wheels, under extreme conditions the split can go up to 100 per cent. The Countryman also has an electronic limited-slip function for the front axle differential.
P90055099_lowResThe Countryman comes with standard Dynamic Stability Control, with Dynamic Traction Control coming either as an option or as a standard feature on the MINI Cooper S Countryman.
I bet Mini has a good shot at the domestic market with its Countryman, assuming there’s still a price-elastic consumer base to be had here. I can also see this taking off in certain other countries.
It’s good to finally see more innovation in the auto industry.