Category: MINI Cooper
Found a nice parking spot next to a Clubman S at the mall.
We had a couple stops at the mall; Chipotle for dinner and then the Apple store for a gift card.
MINI has officially released images and basic details about its upcoming Countryman, a four-door, all-wheel-drive, ruggedly-styled version based on the basic MINI Cooper theme. The Countryman will officially debut in March at the Geneva Motor Show.
MINI calls the Countryman a mix between the “classic concept” and a modern “Sports Activity Vehicle,” reflecting parent BMW Group’s propensity for creating new acronyms. While front-wheel-drive will be standard, MINI will offer a version called ALL4 that will come standard with all-wheel-drive. Most sales will likely be the latter, although MINI hasn’t announced its intended product mix
[click to view large]
Although MINI has yet to confirm North American specifications, the Countryman will be available in Europe with the full range of MINI powerplants, including diesel and naturally aspirated or turbocharged gasoline powertrains. We’d expect a base 1.6-liter MINI Countryman and a 184-horsepower turbocharged MINI Countryman S to show up in North American dealers. At least for the European market, MINI has added variable valve management to the Countryman S’ powertrain.
The Countryman also adds a pair of rear doors for increased ingress/egress to the rear seats.
The rear seating area is slightly elevated to increase visibility, and it will be available with either two bucket seats with a long center console called the Mini Central Rail or a three person bench. Both options fold to allow for a 41 cubic foot cargo area. Otherwise, the interior is conventional MINI – if such a phrase can apply to the heavily styled, retro-esque accommodations and will include the option of an extra large panorama roof.
The Countryman will also be available in Europe with a sports suspension that lowers the car by about 0.4″ and ads tighter suspension tuning and larger diameter wheels.
Photos and Information, courtesy of: LeftLaneNews
First the MINI Cooper, MINI Cooper S, then the MINI Clubman and now…
The new MINI crossover will be named “Countryman”. Here’s the scoop, though: A private team wants to run the Countryman in the World Rally Championship, and BMW is all for it. That means it would not be a factory-sponsored team, though MINI and John Cooper Works are eager to provide factory support. The only two automakers directly involved in the World Rally Championship are Ford and Citroën…
One other thing you need to know about the Countryman is that it’s based on the RWD BMW 1 Series architecture and will be AWD only. That means theoretically, it can handle any engine up to the M3’s V-8, though we hear BMW might give it M Division’s forthcoming turbocharged four… [end quote.]
[Text from MotorTrend Feb 2010]
I don’t have any photos yet but will be on the lookout. Sounds cool to me! BB