Yep, it's definitely a plug-in. Look for it on the road in 2019.
MINI Cooper Countryman News
While there are those who watch automotive exploits hoping (secretly or otherwise) for a spectacular crash, most of us are happy when everything goes smoothly. But at the end of the day, a daring stunt wouldn't be a daring stunt if there weren't some element of danger. And make no mistake about it, Guerlain Chicherit's recent long-jump record attempt was a daring stunt if ever there was one.
When Mini introduced the Countryman in 2010, it emerged as the brand's first crossover, its first five-door model and its first to offer all-wheel drive. It also arrived mid-lifecycle in the last generation of Mini Cooper hatchback, with which it shares little more than a passing family resemblance. Now that the Anglo-Saxon automaker is moving on to its third generation of retro hatch, it's given the Countryman a bit of a refresh to keep it current.
The standard Mini Countryman is a bit of an odd duck against the backdrop of 'normal' small crossovers like the Mazda CX-5 and the Ford Escape, but I sort of get it. Apply the same winning Mini formula to a CUV, and you get a smaller-than-average entry in the segment, one that is far more entertaining to drive than the norm, more stylish inside and out and pretty expensive when cross-shopped. That list of qualities doesn't appeal to all crossover shoppers, sure, but it intrigues a big enough lis
Mini has introduced three generations of retro hatchback since its revival in 2001, with numerous bodystyles spun off that core model. But the Countryman has always stood apart from the rest (save the Paceman which was in turn spun off of it). The Mini crossover is bigger than the rest of the lineup, has more doors, more driven wheels and a familiar yet different look.
Does the name Guerlain Chicherit ring any bells? It definitely should if you're into competitive skiing, as he was crowned world champion in off-trail freeriding four times. But he's also a rally driver, winning the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup in 2009 and even a stage of the Dakar Rally the following year. What really set him apart, though, was when he back-flipped a Mini Countryman rally car to set a world record last year. And now he's after another.
Contrary to popular belief, it seems that Mini's growth plans do have a limit both in size and number of models. During the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, it unveiled the six-door Clubman concept (pictured above) that was 4.4-inches longer and about two-inches wider than even the current Countryman crossover. Mini design chief Anders Warming says that this is the new size limit for its models, and the BMW subsidiary isn't building a larger, seven-passenger vehicle above the current Countryman.
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