Teaser: MINI Hybrid Progress and the New Countryman

MINI hybrid plug-in

Back in May we told you that MINI was working on a plug-in Hybrid based on the upcoming Countryman based on small labeling we noticed on some cold weather testing spy shots that we shared. The topic of a MINI Hybrid was raised recently once again as several BMW executives passed on attending the Paris Motor Show to continue planning the future hybrid/electric lineup.

MINI Hybrid Concept

MINI Hybrid Test Concept

The head of MINI, Sebastian Mackensen and Head of MINI series management Peter Wolf, recently got a preview of the fist MINI plug-in hybrid, and as a bonus, it’s a bit more of a sneak peek into the next Countryman for us.

“With this model we want to convince MINI customers of the benefits of hybrid drive”, says Mackensen, “and impress everyone who already has hybrid driving experience with MINI’s unique go-kart driving feel.” The key to achieving this lies in intelligent energy management which is used to control how the combustion engine and electric motor operate together. For this reason, the first MINI plug-in hybrid model is not solely focused on efficiency, but uncompromising in pursuit of driving fun.

Called eDRIVE, the MINI hybrid will offer various modes for maximum efficiency or performance. Labeled AUTO eDRIVE, MAX eDRIVE and SAVE BATTERY, the electric system can operate up to 125 km/h (77mph) before engaging the combustion motor.

Full details about the capacity and range of the electric system have not been released yet. The same is true for possible production dates and pricing, but it’s clear that a lot of research and planning has gone into creating a production plug-in MINI Hybrid.

The Next Countryman

In the short-term. Check out the full large-sized gallery and press release of the upcoming MINI Hybrid on the next page. The test vehicle is the next generation Countryman, and these are the best photographs we have seen of it so far. The interior includes many components borrowed from the current production F-Models including the shifter, door handles and speedometer. Much of the rest has been carefully disguised until an official premiere occurs.

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Mike Bober has been involved in many aspects of the MINI Community, including working with multiple national series racing teams. He currently owns his first MINI, an R53 "Ramsey", a R60 Countryman "Lauda", and a F56 "Stanton". Previously owned was an R59 Roadster "Winnie". -- Along with many other major MINI events, Mike recently completed his second coast-to-coast MINI Takes The States event.

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