Geneva Auto Show: MINI Countryman Ready For On-Road, Off-Road Duty
By Dale Jewett
In the wake of Tuesday's leak of three photos of the MINI Countryman crossover prior to its debut in Geneva in early March, MINI has released many details and a full set of photos of its first four-door vehicle.
The Countryman--MINI says it may carry a different name in some markets--will be available in two trim levels, base and Cooper S. The powertrain lineup covers three gasoline and two diesel engines, although we'll likely see only the gasoline engines here in the United States. The top engine is a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder with BMW's twin-scroll turbo and direct fuel injection, rated at 184 hp. Transmission choices are a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic.
To reduce fuel consumption, MINI will equip the Countryman with technologies such as brake regeneration, engine stop-start at idle and on-demand use of accessories.
All-wheel drive, named All 4, will be optional. The system uses a electrohydraulic differential to split drive force between the front and rear wheels. Under normal driving conditions, drive force is split 50-50 between the front and rear wheels. But up to 100 percent of drive force can be sent to the rear wheels by the center differential. The standard equipment list includes stability control and a limited-slip differential for the front wheels. Traction control is an option on some models and standard on others.
The options list also includes run-flat tires, a panoramic sunroof, active headlights and a sport suspension that lowers ride height by nearly 0.5 inch.
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