News/ Industry/ Mini Countryman | Spied with rugged AWD capabilities

Mini Countryman | Spied with rugged AWD capabilities

Mini released yet another extensive teaser gallery for the impending third-generation Countryman, this time featuring the same, camouflaged prototype in a new setting. The SUV was sent to the Scottish Highlands by the carmaker in the last phases of development before its public debut in an effort to demonstrate its off-road capabilities.

Mini selected a prototype of the Countryman with the ALL4 all-wheel-drive system for the off-roading situation. The manufacturer did not make the vehicle's powertrain explicit, but based on the open grille, it appears to be a petrol-powered Countryman S. In earlier teases, the completely electric Mini Countryman SE ALL4 featured a covered grille with a distinct design.

The Countryman substituted a fresh pair of Grabber all-terrain tires for the production-spec model's road-focused rubber in order to handle dirt, boulders, and river crossings. These had thicker profiles and sticky treads that were mounted on black alloy wheels. In this specific test vehicle, Mini fitted a roof-mounted LED for nighttime driving off the usual path.

The BMW-owned company decided to take a route from the James Bond: Skyfall movie in a nod to its British background. Mini even said that the Countryman ALL4 with off-road tires is a better option for this specific terrain than the vintage Aston Martin DB5 that 007 drove. Mini also remarked on the model's "spacious boot" that can accommodate equipment for outdoor recreational activities.

Mini has not yet disclosed the combustion-powered Countryman range's specs, although they are anticipated to be similar to those of the BMW X1, with the exception of the plug-in hybrid, which will be dropped. However, the numbers for the two electric models that will be offered at launch are already known. Similar to the BMW iX1, the Countryman SE ALL4 has two electric motors that together provide 308 horsepower (230 kW/ 313 PS), whereas the Countryman E has a single electric motor that produces 188 horsepower (140 kW/ 191 PS). A battery pack with a capacity of 64.7 kWh is used in both scenarios to provide power, giving the vehicles a maximum range of 450 km (280 miles).

In November 2023, the third-generation Mini Countryman will begin production at BMW Group's Leipzig factory in Germany, which also makes the X1/iX1 and X1 siblings. This is significant since it is the first time a Mini-branded car would be produced in Germany.

TopGear Magazine February 2024