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Big MINI Arrives

Wed, 20 Jan 2010

The MINI Countryman bridges the gap between the classic concept of the MINI and a modern Sports Activity Vehicle. The MINI Countryman offers unique MINI driving pleasure to people who require more space and flexibility.

 

The first model in the MINI range with four doors and a wide-opening rear hatch, the MINI Countryman provides a slightly elevated seating position, and optimized driving comfort. At the same time, the MINI Countryman maintains the 'go-kart' feeling characteristic of MINIs. Optional MINI ALL4 all-wheel drive offers additional capability.


The MINI Countryman combines larger body dimensions, greater ground clearance and four side doors wityh unmistakable design features characteristic of a MINI. Short overhangs, high window line, powerful stance on the wheels, and window graphics extending round the entire car create typical MINI proportions. At the same time the MINI Countryman re-interprets the characteristic icons of a MINI such as the roofline, the hexagon radiator grille, the large headlights integrated in the engine lid, the surrounds on the side direction indicators, the voluminous wheel arches and the upright rear light clusters.

 

Positioned almost upright, the front end serves to optimise pedestrian safety. The extra space within the car is emphasised by extra-large windows, the introduction of four doors, and the individual shape of the roof. The particularly wide frame around the lower part of the body and the powerfully flared wheel arches highlight the robust character of the car and its optional all-wheel drive. The MINI Countryman stands out from the start as a brand-new, highly innovative model but is nevertheless clearly identifiable from the very beginning as a genuine MINI.

The slightly elevated seating position guarantees comfortable and pleasant access to the car and optimises the driver’s all-round view. The Central Display and air vents are surrounded by coloured rings. The MINI Center Rail extends from front to rear instead of a conventional centre console, opens up new, individual options for integrating all kinds of storage boxes, cupholders, external audio devices, mobile telephones and other comfort features. Flexibly positioned clip-in elements enable the driver and passengers to subdivide the storage boxes individually as required, keeping travel utensils within easy reach, wherever they are required. At the same time the Center Rail forms an unconventional, visual and functional connection between the front seats and the rear passenger compartment.

The MINI Countryman comes as standard with four seats, while a three-seat bench is available as a no-cost option. The interior offers superior comfort also on long distances, with generous legroom, headroom and shoulder freedom. The rear seats move fore-and-aft either individually or in a 60 : 40 (three-seat bench) split, the backrests may be tilted for angle either individually or in a 40 : 20 : 40 (three-seat bench) arrangement, increasing capacity in the luggage compartment from 350 to 1,170 litres (12.2–41.0 cu ft).

The MINI Countryman is offered with a choice of three petrol and two diesel engines, all coming in the new generation of power units and complying with the EU5 and, respectively, ULEV II emission standards. The power range extends from 66 kW/90 PS in the MINI One D Countryman all the way to 135 kW/184 PS in the MINI Cooper S Countryman. The 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine in the top model comes for the first time not only with a twin-scroll turbocharger and direct fuel injection, but also with fully variable valve management offering the best balance of engine power and fuel consumption in its class. As a particular highlight of the MINIMALISM fuel efficiency concept, the MINI Countryman comes as standard and in appropriate combinations on each model with a wide range of features serving to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, among them Brake Energy Regeneration, Auto Start Stop, a gearshift point indicator, and on-demand management of the engine’s ancillary units. And as an alternative to the six-speed manual gearbox featured as standard, the petrol engine models are also available with six-speed automatic complete with Steptronic.

As an option the MINI Cooper S Countryman and MINI Cooper D Countryman are available with permanent MINI ALL4 all-wheel drive, an electrohydraulic differential positioned directly on the final drive 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 up to 100 per cent, offering a new, high-traction rendition of the agile handling so typical of MINI. This traction and drivetrain technology is based on the suspension of the MINI, including MacPherson spring struts and forged track control arms, multi-arm rear axle and EPS Electric Power Steering complete with Servotronic. The MINI Countryman comes as standard with DSC Dynamic Stability Control, DTC Dynamic Traction Control coming either as an option or as a standard feature on the MINI Cooper S Countryman and the MINI Cooper D Countryman with ALL4, as well as an electronic limited-slip function for the front axle differential.

Designed for optimum safety in the event of a collision, the body structure has precisely defined load paths and deformation zones to ensures passive safety of the highest calibre. Frontal and side airbags as well as curtain airbags at the side both front and rear, three-point inertia-reel seat belts on all seats, belt latch tensioners and belt force limiters at the front, as well as ISOFIX child seat fastenings at the rear all come as standard. Yet another standard feature is the Tyre Defect Indicator, with runflat tyres coming as an option and standard on the MINI Cooper S Countryman with ALL4.

The wide range of customisation options on both the exterior and interior again typical of MINI are supplemented by new, model-specific features exclusive to the MINI Countryman. New combinations in the range of interior colours, trim strips and upholstery enable even the most discerning customer to create his – or her – very special car with truly unique character. The wide range of standard features boasted by the MINI Countryman includes highlights such as air conditioning, the MINI Center Rail, and an audio system complete with a CD player. The equally wide range of options and special equipment tailored to each model comes with features such as high-end audio and navigation systems as well as mobile telephone interfaces including the option to completely integrate an Apple iPhone and other Smartphones in the car. Further options are the extra-large Panorama roof, Adaptive Headlights in combination with xenon headlight units, a heated windscreen, a towbar, light-alloy wheels ranging in size from 16 to 19 inches, sports suspension lowering the entire car by 10 millimetres or almost 0.4", as well as the wide range of John Cooper Works Performance Components.

 

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