By Stewart Smith on 2017-03-03 - Stewart was the former motoring editor of the Coventry Telegraph and is now a freelance contributor to Eurekar. He is based in Scotland and specialises in First Drive reviews.
MINI reveals hybrid
MINI has announced prices for its first plug-in hybrid model which will be hitting UK roads in June.
It is available to order now and the new MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 is priced from £31,585, not including the government plug-in car grant.
The first plug-in hybrid model in the MINI range comes with all-wheel drive and is powered by a three-cylinder petrol engine with twin power turbo technology and a synchronous electric motor.
Together they generate a system output of 224bhp enabling the car to sprint from standing to 62mph in 6.8seconds.
Power from the engine is transmitted to the front wheels via a six-speed Steptronic transmission, while the electric motor powers the rear wheels.
The interaction between the two creates an all-wheel drive system that MINI says optimises agility and stability on the road as well as providing traction over snow and unsurfaced terrain.
In normal traffic conditions, when setting off, only the electric motor is initially active but once a driving speed of 50mph is reached the combustion engine is engaged.
An eDRIVE toggle switch enables the car to continue to drive with only the electric engine beyond this point if preferred. In MAX eDRIVE mode the hybrid can run at up to 78mph free of emissions.
The electric only range is 25 miles with overall emissions rated at 49g/lm which equates to a theoretical 134.5mpg.
The Cooper SE Countryman makes ues of a high-voltage lithium-ion battery which can be charged from a conventional household socket.
For increased power input and reduced charging times, a wall box or public charging station can be used. Charging takes between 2.15 and 3.15 hours.
The battery is housed underneath the rear seat and flat load boot floor, minimising drawbacks to boot space and leg room.
The luggage compartment volume of the hybrid model is 405 litres, which can be extended to as much as 1,275litres with the rear backrests folded down. The non-hybrid Countryman has an everyday boot capacity of 450 litres.
The plug-in model comes with satellite navigation system, Bluetooth, cruise control, emergency E-call and Active Guard as standard.
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