The front axle has McPherson spring struts and forged track control arms, while the rear axle has a the multi-arm arrangement. Other standard kit includes electric power steering and stability control. Traction control is an option on all but the Cooper S and Cooper D models, which also get an electronic limited-slip function for the front axle differential.
The Countryman is the first model in the Mini range with four doors and the option of 'All4' four-wheel drive and is described by the company as giving a "greater freedom of space for truly versatile use, a slightly elevated seating position, and optimised driving comfort."
The All4 system works via an electrohydraulic differential positioned directly on the final drive, which varies 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, but this can switch to up to 100 per cent.
The Countryman comes as standard with four seats, while a three-seat bench is available as a no-cost option. The rear seats move fore and aft either individually or in a 60:40 split and the backrests tilt. Boot capacity ranges from 350 to 1170 litres, according to seat arrangement.
Inside, the car's styling follows current Mini trends such as the over-sized speedo and toggle switches, but includes more storage areas, including a console that extends from the front to the rear of the car.
Standard kit includes air-con and an audio system complete with a CD player. Options will inclide sat-nav, phone systems, a panoramic roof, adaptive headlights,a towbar, alloy wheels from 16 to 19-inches and sports suspension, which lowers the car 10mm.
Mini says the Countryman's styling complements its off-road ability, and that as a result it is a "highly innovative model but is nevertheless clearly identifiable from the very beginning as a genuine Mini."
Mini has also promised to offer buyers its usual array of customisation options.
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