• 72
Mini Countryman – Click above for high-res image gallery

Following yesterday's leaked images and teaser video, Mini has today officially opened the floodgates of pictures and information on its new Countryman crossover. According to parent company BMW, the Countryman is "a new dimension" and "genuine crossover [that] bridges the gap between the classic concept of the Mini and a modern Sports Activity Vehicle." Judging from the images, it's hard to argue with that assessment.

As you can see, the Countryman gets four regularly hinged doors plus one conventional tailgate. We can also see that the CUV sits a bit higher off the ground than other Mini models and the company says it's raised the seating position a smidge. The other big alteration from Mini's previous models is the addition of all-wheel drive that can send up to 100 percent of the torque to the rear wheels.

Speaking of torque, the Countryman seems likely to get the full suite of available Mini engines both here in the United States and abroad. That means we'll see both a normally aspirated 1.6-liter as well as a turbocharged 1.6 that will come with fully variable valve timing for the first time, bumping power to 184 horsepower. Unfortunately we can't say for sure if the U.S. model will get that power increase, or the Brake Energy Regeneration and Auto Start Stop features that Europeans enjoy.

Inside, the Countryman gets a typically Mini-esque dash, door panels and seat designs and is available with the brand's first-ever three-across rear bench. That back seat is a split-folding design, and cargo capacity jumps from 350 to 1,170 liters (12.2–41.0 cu ft) when it's down. There's plenty more to glean from the official press release – so typical of Mini (read it all the way through for a good morning laugh) – after the break, and be sure to check out our high-res image gallery below. We'll know more details, like pricing and availability, when the Countryman makes its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show in early March.


  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)
  • MINI Countryman (02/2010)

[Source: Mini]
Show full PR text
Fun has no Limits: The MINI Countryman*. (* The name of the car may vary in some markets.)

MINI is adding a fourth model to the family, opening up a new dimension of that unmistakable MINI feeling. As a genuine Crossover, the MINI Countryman bridges the gap between the classic concept of the MINI and a modern Sports Activity Vehicle. Boasting enhanced opportunities in urban mobility and beyond, the MINI Countryman offers that unique driving pleasure so typical of MINI to new target groups requiring extra space and flexibility. As the first model in the MINI range with four doors and a wide-opening rear lid, the MINI Countryman provides even greater freedom of space for truly versatile use, a slightly elevated seating position, and optimized driving comfort. Full integration of the passengers within the vehicle creates that driving experience so typical of MINI. And at the same time the MINI Countryman maintains that go-kart feeling likewise so characteristic of MINI, optional MINI ALL4 all-wheel drive offering an additional highlight for the genuine connoisseur. In a nutshell, therefore, the MINI Countryman offers all the characteristic features of the brand in terms of design, premium quality, handling, efficiency and customisation in new, fascinating style.

The MINI Countryman carries on the design of the brand in superior style and quality, combining larger body dimensions, greater ground clearance and four doors at the side with those unmistakable design features so characteristic of MINI. Short overhangs, a high window line, powerful stance on the wheels, and window graphics extending round the entire car create those unique proportions so typical of MINI. At the same time the MINI Countryman re-interprets the characteristic icons of a MINI such as the roofline, the hexagon radiator grille, the large headlights integrated in the engine lid, the surrounds on the side direction indicators, the voluminous wheel arches and the upright rear light clusters in new style and class.

Proceeding from that design language so typical of MINI, the MINI Countryman authentically visualises the particular features of this very special car. Positioned almost upright, the front end bears out strong presence and serves to optimise pedestrian safety. The extra space within the car, in turn, is emphasised by extra-large windows, the introduction of four doors, and the individual shape of the roof. The particularly wide frame around the lower part of the body and the powerfully flared wheel arches highlight the robust character of the car and its all-wheel drive. With that typical MINI style now being conveyed to a new segment in absolute clarity and precision, the MINI Countryman stands out from the start as a brand-new, highly innovative model but is nevertheless clearly identifiable from the very beginning as a genuine MINI.

Within the interior again typical of the brand, the MINI Countryman boasts innovative design and function elements throughout. The slightly elevated seating position guarantees comfortable and pleasant access to the car, optimises the driver's all-round view, and underlines the powerful character of this new model. The Central Display and air vents are surrounded by coloured rings. The MINI Center Rail quite unique the world over, extending from front to rear instead of a conventional centre console, opens up new, individual options for integrating all kinds of storage boxes, cupholders, external audio devices, mobile telephones and other comfort features. Flexibly positioned clip-in elements enable the driver and passengers to subdivide the storage boxes individually as required, keeping travel utensils within easy reach, wherever they are required. At the same time the Center Rail forms an unconventional, visual and functional connection between the front seats and the rear passenger compartment.

The MINI Countryman comes as standard with four seats, while a three-seat bench is available as a no-cost option. The interior offers superior comfort also on long distances, with generous legroom, headroom and shoulder freedom. The rear seats move fore-and-aft either individually or in a 60 : 40 (three-seat bench) split, the backrests may be tilted for angle either individually or in a 40 : 20 : 40 (three-seat bench) arrangement, increasing capacity in the luggage compartment from 350 to 1,170 litres (12.2–41.0 cu ft).

The MINI Countryman is entering the market with a choice of three petrol and two diesel engines, all coming in the new generation of power units developed with the full know-how of the BMW Group and naturally complying with the EU5 and, respectively, ULEV II emission standards. The power range extends from 66 kW/90 hp in the MINI One D Countryman all the way to 135 kW/184 hp in the MINI Cooper S Countryman. The 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine in the top model comes for the first time not only with a twin-scroll turbocharger and direct fuel injection, but also with fully variable valve management offering by far the best balance of engine power and fuel consumption in its class. As a particular highlight of the MINIMALISM fuel efficiency concept, the MINI Countryman comes as standard and in appropriate combinations on each model with a wide range of features serving to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, among them Brake Energy Regeneration, Auto Start Stop, a gearshift point indicator, and on-demand management of the engine's ancillary units. And as an alternative to the six-speed manual gearbox featured as standard, the petrol engine models are also available with six-speed automatic complete with Steptronic.

As an option the MINI Cooper S Countryman and MINI Cooper D Countryman are available with permanent MINI ALL4 all-wheel drive, an electrohydraulic differential positioned directly on the final drive varying 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, under extreme conditions up to 100 per cent, offering a new, high-traction rendition of that agile handling so typical of MINI. This superior traction and drivetrain technology is based on the top-end suspension of the MINI including features such as the front axle with McPherson spring struts and forged track control arms, the multi-arm rear axle and EPS Electric Power Steering complete with Servotronic. The MINI Countryman furthermore comes as standard with DSC Dynamic Stability Control, DTC Dynamic Traction Control coming either as an option or as a standard feature on the MINI Cooper S Countryman and the MINI Cooper D Countryman with ALL4, as well as an electronic limited-slip function for the front axle differential.

Designed for optimum safety in the event of a collision, the body structure with its precisely defined load paths and deformation zones ensures passive safety of the highest calibre. Frontal and side airbags as well as curtain airbags at the side both front and rear, three-point inertia-reel seat belts on all seats, belt latch tensioners and belt force limiters at the front, as well as ISOFIX child seat fastenings at the rear all come as standard. Yet another standard feature is the Tyre Defect Indicator, with runflat tyres coming as an option and standard on the MINI Cooper S Countryman with ALL4.

The wide range of customisation options on both the exterior and interior again so typical of MINI are supplemented by new, model-specific features exclusive to the MINI Countryman. New combinations in the range of interior colours, trim strips and upholstery enable even the most discerning customer to create his – or her – very special car with truly unique character. The wide range of standard features boasted by the MINI Countryman includes highlights such as air conditioning, the MINI Center Rail, and an audio system complete with a CD player. The equally wide range of options and special equipment tailored to each model comes with features such as high-end audio and navigation systems as well as mobile telephone interfaces including the option to completely integrate an Apple iPhone and other Smartphones in the car. Further options are the extra-large Panorama roof, Adaptive Headlights in combination with xenon headlight units, a heated windscreen, a towbar, light-alloy wheels ranging in size from 16 to 19 inches, sports suspension lowering the entire car by 10 millimetres or almost 0.4", as well as the wide range of John Cooper Works Performance Components.



I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 72 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Awesome. I really like this a lot. I might consider when my lease is up on my 2009 Forester XT next year. I live in the mountains, and it snows all the time. I will only buy something with AWD, but want something fun to drive and a good amount of cargo space. A decent amount of ground clearance and good fuel economy help too.
        • 5 Years Ago
        There's little point in AWD if the car only has 5" of ground clearance. Once the bottom of the car starts dragging it's over no matter how many wheels you have driving.

        7" of snow will make roads impassible for this car just like it would for an FWD or RWD car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        How does the Forester treat you?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I tried making that point yesterday and another commenter just kept telling me to buy a Land Rover.

        I live in CO and would love something like this for 90% of my driving duties. I have a Jeep for when the snow is really deep or if I want to go 4-wheeling. Otherwise, this would be just fine for me.

        Now, the question is, how affordable will it be? Knowing MINI, not very.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @montoym -> Problem is, I don't want something as big and thirsty as a Land Rover, but I want something that is AWD and somewhat fuel efficient. There are many days where I wake up and notice it decided to snow 7" during the night. The roads are all messed up from the weather. You can just forget a RWD car, my street is a hill, you would not be getting to work that morning. FWD is another hassle, and most fuel efficent FWD cars are low, and you will be snagged quickly in snow.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Do you think there will be a mod to force the RWD to 100% all the time? I hope so.
        • 5 Years Ago
        To MikeW- I was talking about a software modification, not a physical one.

        "As an option the MINI Cooper S Countryman and MINI Cooper D Countryman are available with permanent MINI ALL4 all-wheel drive, an electrohydraulic differential positioned directly on the final drive varying 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, under extreme conditions up to 100 per cent, offering a new, high-traction rendition of that agile handling so typical of MINI."
        • 5 Years Ago
        slo:
        This vehicle is incapable of pulling power from the from wheels. As a Haldex system, the most you can do is gang the front and rear together. Doing this permanently would be like having a 4WD system with center lock. It would cause binding at every turn. And, besides, it wouldn't be RWD still, it'd be 4WD.

        If you want RWD on this car, you'd have to start by physically removing the front halfshafts or at least front diff.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, I got that you were looking for a cheap software mod (free).

        The hardware mod is almost free. (what is the value of your time?)

        It depends on the duty cycle/durability of the 4th iteration of Haldex. If the Haldex coupling can handle transmitting all the power, all of the time (without overheating) then you can have a rear drive Mini. It would probably fail, eventually. But by then, someone would likely make the 8-9" shaft to connect the driveshaft to the pinion gear, after gutting the Haldex box. (and there would be a group buy :)
        http://www.haldex.com/Global/Traction/Basic%20Function/S414_014.jpg

        Perform software mod.
        Remove the front driveshafts, split at inner plunging joint-lose everything outboard.
        Get Quaife to make a torque sensitive rear differential, because a 60/40 front/rear weight distribution with an open rear differential is cruel & unusual punishment.

        Hey, that would make an interesting drift machine.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I really don't like the styling, and it goes against all the brand-equity in MINI.
        • 5 Years Ago
        MINI is about small, light, fun to drive. This can't go offroad. All it does is add weight and the higher center of gravity reduces handling.

        This thing is to MINI as the Cayenne is to Porsche.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I need to see it in person to get a feel for its size. But overall I like it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't hate it as much as I thought I would.

      Design-wise, I actually think it's very well done (for a CUV) except for the front lower bumper which just doesn't look right in my opinion. Also, while I guess the center-mounted dials are now a Mini trademark, I REALLY hate their placement. The rest of the interior looks great.

      It would be nice to see it up against a regular Mini to see how much bigger it really is. It looks smaller than I expected it to be - which is a good thing.

      I am guessing that this is going to be rather expensive and I personally would pick a regular Mini over this any day of the week, even with less space inside.
      • 5 Years Ago
      There is already the official fanpage on facebook
      http://www.facebook.com/mini.countryman
      • 5 Years Ago
      What does "...is available with the brand's first-ever three-across rear bench. That back seat is a split-folding design..." mean?

      The photos show a strict two-seat arrangement in the rear with a unique accessory rail.

      Is the bench optional?
      • 5 Years Ago
      i LOVE it,
      it's wierd
      it's fat
      i want one
      • 5 Years Ago
      I LOVE it!

      It looks awesome and I'll bet it sells like hotcakes!

      Any word on pricing yet in the US?
      • 5 Years Ago
      needs more power
      • 5 Years Ago
      Odd.. reminds me of the Abe Sapien from Hellboy 2.
        • 5 Years Ago
        HAHAHAHAH! So true!...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think its a fun idea from Mini, not too fond of the S's styling though. This may be the first time I like a non "S" model over an "S" one.
    • Load More Comments