The Hybrid MINI is here: MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4
Greener transport, less congestion and autonomous vehicles seem to be high on the priority list of many countries and manufacturers in 2017. While there are arguments for all three, the former seems to be the one that you can’t really argue with. Emissions & increased Diesel tax is the talk of the town in many big cities and this should and is worrying many car manufacturers, such as BMW. A staggeringly high percentage of BMW cars sold in Europe are Diesel and while we love them because they provide good fuel economy, the environment doesn’t seem to have as much love.
One way this can be helped is with Hybrid vehicles, such as the new MINI cooper S E Countryman ALL4 – the first Hybrid MINI. Powering this hybrid car is a 3-cylinder turbo petrol engine and an electric motor which provides a combined power output of 165 kW. With 100 kW coming from the combustion engine and 65 kW from the electric setup which also provides 165 Nm from a standstill! The combustion and electric system work together, with the combustion power being delivered to the front wheels and electric to the rear. This creates an ALL4 or 4 wheel drive system.
From a standing start the new MINI hybrid relies solely on electric power up to around 80km/h. After this speed the combustion engine is slowly introduced, the driver can however opt to stay on electric power with the eDRIVE switch up to a speed of 124 km/h – pretty impressive. The new MINI Countryman Hybrid has a range of 40 km which is not too bad at all. A car which relies solely on electricity when stuck in traffic or driving around town or commuting to work sounds pretty good to us. What sounds even better is the average fuel consumption, a mere 2.3 litres per 100km.
The big lithium-ion battery is located under the rear seats to save space and will require around 2 hours 15 minutes or 3 hours 15 minutes to charge, depending on the method used.
Cars that fully rely on electric for power are probably the future but for now, range is holding them back. Hybrids are a great option in the meantime and more manufacturers should be looking at this option. There is really no need for combustion engines around the city and I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of these types of vehicles coming to market.
Is it coming to South Africa? We don’t know yet, but with the BMW i3 and i8 already here, we may have a chance.