MINI further expands product line-up with Countryman
At launch the Countryman range will include three petrol and two diesel models, 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 units that MINI has already announced for the Hatch, Convertible and Clubman models due in March 2010 and are offered with 98bhp, 122bhp and 184bhp. All three feature Variable Valve Timing (VVT) similar to the BMW Valvetronic system. The 184bhp unit in the Cooper S model also features a twin-scroll turbocharger and direct fuel injection to go impressive performance whilst still delivering fuel economy of 44.8mpg and CO2 emissions of 146g/km.
The diesel units are shared with the rest of the MINI range and comprise 90bhp and 112bhp units, offering 65.7mpg and 64.2pg respectively, with CO2 emissions of 116g/km for them both.
As well as performance, the Countryman has also been designed to deliver new levels of space and versatility to the range to attract new customers. The model is 398 mm longer than a MINI Hatch (at 4,097mm), 316mm wider (at 1,789mm) and 170mm higher (at 1,577mm). It also offers 190 litres more luggage capacity than a MINI Hatch with the seats up (a total of 350 litres) and 1,170 litres with the rear seats folded flat.
Standard equipment includes air conditioning, heated door mirrors and washer jets, rear parking sensors and digital radio.
MINI has also said that the launch of the Countryman opens up a whole new range of opportunities for the brand.
'We always maintain that MINI is not a boutique brand like some of its competitors,' said Jochen Goller, director of MINI UK. 'MINI is not a one trick pony and as the brand blossoms still further with Coupe and Roadster, MINI will soon be a six model family. All this has happened within a decade of MINI's rebirth,' he concluded.