In early 2017, MINI pulled off the wraps to its first ever plug-in MINI, the MINI Cooper S E Countryman and it appears that the car will make its appearance in Malaysia very soon. MINI Malaysia has taken to their social media pages to tease the imminent launch of the Countryman PHEV.
Upfront you’ll find a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine driving the front axle via a six-speed automatic while the rear wheels are driven by an electric motor via a two-stage single-speed transmission; giving it all-wheel drive capabilities. Combined output for the hybrid system is rated at 224 hp and is enough to propel the Countryman PHEV from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds. Mind you, the souped-up Countryman JCW is only a fraction quicker than its eco-friendly twin.
MINI claims that the Countryman PHEV will have an all-electric range of up to 40 km (125 km/h electric top speed) on a full charge before the combustion engine assumes its duties. A full charge takes between 2 to 3 hours. The charging socket is located on the passenger side (for RHD models), just like all BMW PHEVs, neatly tucked behind the E side emblem.
Other unique items for the Countryman PHEV include Electric Lime accents on the badges, E emblems all round, hybrid-specific instrument cluster, a 6.5-inch infotainment screen as well as an eDRIVE toggle switch.
BMW Group Malaysia’s manufacturing plant in Kulim, which is also where the Countryman petrol is put together, have the technical means to assemble high-voltage vehicles. It would only make sense (pricing wise) for MINI Malaysia to take advantage of the EEV incentives for CKD hybrid vehicles and locally assemble the Countryman PHEV.
What also remains to be seen is whether the Cooper S Countryman petrol will suffer the same fate as the BMW 330i when it was replaced by the cheaper and more capable 330e or form a three-model line up – Cooper, Cooper S and Cooper S E.
Registration of interest for the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 is now open at MINI Malaysia’s dedicated website.