New Mini set to make its mark on the world
The latest Mini goes on sale next Saturday. The Countryman is the first Mini with four side doors, five seats and the option of the all-wheel-drive ALL4 version. It is the first Mini built abroad (by Steyr in Austria).
It also marks a return to the World Rally Championship in 2011, hoping to match the success of the original Mini in the 1960s.
This year’s allocation of the Countryman is already sold out. Prices start at £16,000.
It is the biggest Mini we have seen, measuring 161 inches long – that’s nearly 15 inches longer than the Mini hatchback. It is four inches wider and six inches taller. The ground clearance is slightly higher (less than half-an-inch).
At launch, the Countryman range is three petrol models – One, Cooper and Cooper S – and two diesel models – One D and Cooper D – as well as two ALL4 all-wheel-drive models, the Cooper D ALL4 and Cooper S ALL4.
The petrol engines are the new 1.6 litre four cylinder already announced for the Hatch, Convertible and Clubman models launched in spring. The diesel is an allnew BMW 1.6 turbo.
Sample model: The One has a 98bhp engine giving 0-62mph in 11.9 seconds, 47.1mpg, 139g/km of CO2 and costs £16,000. Top of the range is the Cooper S ALL4, at £22,030. With 184bhp, it records 0-62 in 7.9 seconds, 42.2mpg and 157g/km CO2.
The most economical are the One D and Cooper D, each recording 67.3mpg and 115g/km. Gears are six speeds, with a six speed auto available on all petrol models.
Prodrive is developing the WRC version for the Super 2000 series for 4x4 cars with 1.6 turbo engines. Testing starts soon, with selected events next year.
DOOR TO DOOR: The new Mini Countryman.