Mini Countryman SE ALL4: The big mini goes to the electric, we drove aboard the future mini electric Countryman!

We rolled aboard the future electric mini electric country

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Mini countryman is all4: the big mini goes to the electric

If for the moment, only the Mini Cooper has moved to electric, it’s time to put it in the rest of the range. Until then available in rechargeable hybrid, Countryman will go to 100% electric.

We are already talking about more than 300 horsepower ! Countryman SE ALL4 will therefore be the first 100% electric mini equipped with an all -wheel drive system. In recent days, the British firm has unveiled new information and images of the future Countryman. According to initial information, two models will be available at launch: the country man developing 188 horsepower as the Cooper is currently, and the SE ALL4.

Equipped with two engines integrated on each axle, the SE ALL4 version will offer 313 horsepower, including a boost system allowing a temporary power increase. Thanks to the 64.7 kWh battery, the manufacturer already speaks of 450 kilometers of autonomy according to the WLTP cycle. Great promise ! Especially since the new countryman should improve its habitability since it should be slightly larger than the current generation, in height and in length.

Mini Countryman SE ALL4 (2024)

Ecological to the interior

The BMW group pays particular attention to the materials used inside and outside its models. And this will apply to mini: the future countryman should get rid of some decorative elements in certain polluting materials, and even be equipped with rims made from 70% of recycled aluminum.

Inside, it’s the same story. The roof trim, the steering wheel, the dashboard and even the floor mats will be made from recycled polyester that Mini has designed from old carpets and polyethylene bottles terephtaplate. The British brand claims that this unique alternative can reduce CO 2 emissions up to 85 % on the entire production chain. Even the Leipzig factory in which this Coutryman will be built will benefit from some developments to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

We rolled aboard the future electric mini electric country !

A few months before its presentation, we were able to climb aboard the future mini electric country. The SUV grows and borrows the base of the BMW IX1, but seems to keep mini DNA with specific settings.

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 <p>We had the chance to do a few laps in a prototype of the future mini electric country.</p>
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<p>We had the chance to do a few laps in a prototype of the future mini electric country.</p>
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Mini had already communicated a series of official photos of the camouflaged prototype in early March, after those of our spy photographers in December 2022. The discovery of the vehicle is therefore not a big surprise. Apart from the tarpaulins that have gone from the usual yellow to variegated patterns (cross, stars, rounds, etc.) pink and blue seen aboard the Aceman concept, the overall silhouette is identical. The model can be equipped with rims up to 20 inches, there also close to the Aceman concept.

On board, same philosophy as for the future urban SUV Aceman: a simplified dashboard to the extreme, and many recycled materials: surfaces of the dashboard, the steering wheel, the pavilion and the floor but also the floor carpets are in recycled polyester from plastic bottles and carpet remains. Leather disappears, just like chrome (inside and out) which is nevertheless part of mini DNA.
The template has evolved to reach 4.43 m long, 13 cm more than the second generation, for 1.61 m high (+ 6 cm). He approaches 4.50 m of the new BMW X1. It is no coincidence, since Countryman III shares with it its Faar platform, evolution of the ex-UKL base that they already pool. What make Countryman even more welcoming, but also to have the right for the first time to a 100% electric variant, like the BMW SUV.

The first 100% electric Countryman

It was in this electric version that we were able to discover the third generation countrymanman. In addition to the thermal engines that will be kept (while the PHEV should disappear), two battery variants will now be offered in the catalog: an entry -level Countryman E (two -wheel drive and a single rear engine) of 140 kW (or 191 CH) and a more dynamic countrymanman. This one offers, thanks to its two electric motors, a cumulative power of 230 kW, or 313 hp. It is therefore the same power as that of the BMW IX1 cousin, which develops 313 hp in its only launch version. The BMW should nevertheless receive a more reasonable variation soon, probably like the “E” of Countryman.

The battery displays a unique capacity of 64.7 kWh (net) for both versions. This is as much as that of the BMW IX1. Thus, the autonomy of the “country” would go up to 450 km depending on the chosen version. For the moment, Mini does not give the charging powers, nor of charging time on a domestic socket or a quick charging station. If we rely on the BMW technical sheet, recharging on a quick terminal could take 30 min (from 10 to 80%) on direct current up to 130 kW.

More comfortable but faithful to mini DNA

Thanks to its technical base shared with the BMW IX1, the future electric Countryman is also more comfortable. A fact that we were able to experiment by being a passenger, a few hours earlier, of a Countryman Cooper S. Far from being uncomfortable, the second generation mini countrymanman still had relatively dry suspensions and little filled the fittings and other nest. In the prototype of the third iteration, we clearly distinguish progress on this point, with much more filtered comfort on irregularities despite the 19 -inch rims of our test vehicle. It must be said that the Austrian roads of our grip were so well maintained.

Our driver of the day, one of the projects to the point of the project, ensures, however, that the electric countryman is distinguished from the BMW IX1 by specific settings. This is particularly the case in the chassis, suspensions or management, wanted “more sporty”. The team obviously wishes to keep what makes the salt of a mini, the famous “Go Kart Feeling” made up of a very direct and heavier direction than other models. But a more family -wanted model requires a few compromises in order to rattle wide customer side: to please old customers of the brand, accustomed to this type of driving, while also enjoying new buyers who want more comfort. On the other hand, we do not know if the countryman will have a controlled suspension, optional on the BMW X1.
The SUV also benefits from adjustable regenerative braking on four levels thanks to a selector: an “adaptive” mode which automatically adjusts according to driving and road, as well as low, medium and high modes. B mode allows even greater regenerative braking, and until complete stop. On the other hand, you have to go through the selector near the keybar button, since the countryman does not have pallets behind the steering wheel unlike the BMW IX1.

Marketing and prices

Obviously, we will have to confirm these first impressions on board the serial version, the presentation of which is planned at the IAA Munich fair in early September 2023. Marketing should take place in the process, with a production in Leipzig in November 2023. It is also at this moment that we will discover the prices of the SUV, which should undergo beautiful inflation.
Photos: Dr.
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