Mini has officially acknowledged its second-generation Countryman will offer a petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain alongside other more conventional three- and four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines when it goes on sale in the UK next year.
The new petrol-electric SUV represents Mini’s first foray into the hybrid ranks, offering a glimpse at plans by the British car maker to further diversify its line-up to include other alternative drive models, including a full electric version of the Cooper hatchback due out in 2019.
Set to form part of the launch models, the Countryman hybrid is twinned with the BMW 225xe Plug-in Hybrid, alongside which it has been conceived and developed. As well as sharing the same basic platform structure, the two cars also receive a common driveline based around BMW’s turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine and electric motor.
The fundamentals of the system were first unveiled on the BMW i8, although they’ve been turned 180-degrees, with the combustion engine mounted transversely up front and the electric motor mounted within the axle assembly at the rear.
In the 225xe, the combustion engine delivers 134bhp and 162lb ft, with the electric motor providing an additional 87bhp and 122lb ft. Together, they provide the BMW with a combined system output of 221bhp and 284lb ft of torque. While Mini is yet to reveal the official power and torque figures for the Countryman Hybrid, engineering sources at parent company BMW suggest they will not vary too much from those of the 225xe.
As with the 225xe, Mini has engineered the Countryman hybrid to provide pure electric drive for distances of over 25 miles. By combining a front mounted petrol engine and rear mounted electric motor, it offers four-wheel drive in hybrid mode and rear-wheel drive in pure electric mode.