KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 — The Mini name is becoming more and more a misnomer — seniors like us will remember the very first Minis if the 1950’s and one of the main reasons for the name supposedly must be because of the size of the car at that time. First introduced in Britain by the British Motor Company (BMC) and produced from 1959 to 2000, the original Mini is considered an icon of 1960’s British popular culture, according to Wikipedia. Its space-saving transverse engine, front engine, front wheel drive layout allowed 80 per cent of the floor pan to be used for passenger and luggage space.
Today, the Mini brand is still mooted as being a British marquee, but it is owned by BMW — the cars have ‘grown’ up considerably in size, being built on a shared-platform basis with some of the BMW models. In addition, the engines and drive train components come from the same ‘parts bin’ as BMW vehicles.
The all-new Mini Countryman, just revealed a couple of days ago by Mini Malaysia, is a compact SUV, or SAV, which means Sports Activity Vehicle in BMW /Mini language, and is mechanically very similar to the X1. A statement from the company states that the “All-New Mini Cooper Countryman and Mini Cooper S Countryman, the new premium SAV vehicles from Mini are now the largest and most versatile models in Mini’s 57-year history.”
Introducing the All-New Mini Countryman, Han Sang Yun, Managing Director and CEO, BMW Group Malaysia said, “Mini has been growing steadily in the Malaysian premium segment. Last year alone, the brand contributed over 900 vehicles to our performance here as well as recorded over a 19 per cent growth in comparison to its performance in 2015. In the first quarter of 2017, Mini is already tracking as the third largest brand in the Malaysian premium segment and we hope to maintain this competitiveness in the industry with the All-New Mini Countryman.”
The All-New Mini Countryman features design elements that are typical of the brand, including the iconic three-way structure of the side view made up of its roof, glass house section and main body as well as short overhands, large wheel arches and downward increase in width.
Now 20 centimetres longer than its predecessor and approximately three centimetres wider, the All-New Mini Countryman has a length of 4,299mm, a width of 1,822mm and a height of 1,557mm. Its distinctive proportions are also made up of a wheelbase that measures 2,670mm, while the track width is 1,585mm at the front and 1,587mm at the rear.
Versatile Roof Rails can accommodate extra cargo such as a roof rack, a roof box or a bicycle rack.
Additionally, the All-New Mini Countryman — for the first time ever — is equipped with auto LED Headlamps with Cornering Lights that project light to the direction of the steering direction while the new Icon Lights which remains activated in dimmed form creates a signature element for the MINI even when the headlights are switched on.
In terms of wheel options, the All-New Mini Cooper Countryman offers 18” Light Alloy Wheels while the Mini Cooper S Countryman offers 19” Mini Yours Light Alloy Wheels. Both variants are equipped with run-flat tyres as standard.
The all-new Mini Countryman is powered by the latest generation of the BMW Group’s 3- and 4-cylinder TwinPower Turbo engines that make the MINI faster, feistier and more fuel efficient than its predecessor.
The All-New Mini Cooper Countryman is now powered by a 1.5-litre 3-cylinder inline engine combined with a 6-speed automatic Steptronic transmission. This enables the car to deliver an output of 136 hp and a maximum torque of 220 Nm. It sprints from zero to 100km/h in 9.6 seconds with a top speed of 200 km/h and has a reduction in fuel consumption which amounts to as much as 6.0 litres per 100 kilometres.
The All-New Mini Cooper S Countryman, meanwhile, houses a 2-litre 4-cylinder engine, which mobilises a peak output of 192 hp and a maximum torque of 280 Nm. Coupled to an 8-speed automatic transmission and Steptronic, it is able to accelerate from zero to 100km/h in just 7.4 seconds, reaching a top speed of 224 km/h. These figures are combined with an average fuel consumption of 6.5 litres per 100 kilometres.
Drivers have the versatility of three driving modes: MID, SPORT and GREEN. Jump into the GREEN mode for leisure cruising and optimised fuel efficiency or choose the SPORT mode for a more responsive acceleration and handling. To experience the best of both worlds, choose the MID mode.
The All-New Mini Countryman has a strut suspension at the front and a multi-link rear axle with a design that is claimed to be optimised for weight and rigidity. Electromechanical steering helps to promote fuel efficiency, while powerful brakes and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) help to keep the vehicle on the road.
Rigidity is claimed to be improved, and as an additional safety feature, break-away engine mounts which will help to avoid further danger for driver and passengers. Additionally, the Hill Hold Control which ensures that the Mini will not roll backwards when parked on a hill or driving in stop-and-go traffic as well as airbags, two each at the front, sides and at the ceiling of the All-New Mini Countryman ensure better peace of mind for both the driver and passengers.
Prices of the new Mini Countryman are as follows:-
Mini Countryman Cooper RM239,888.00
Mini Countryman Cooper S RM269,888.00
(Above prices are P Malaysia, OTR without insurance)