MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 is the plug-in hybrid version of the MINI Countryman 2017 . Technically it is similar to the BMW 225xe iPerformance , as both models share structural elements and the drive system. It stands out for the smoothness with which it rolls, for silence and for comfort of march, without losing much agility with respect to the non-hybrid versions.
It can be an interesting alternative for those who take short trips frequently (up to approximately 50 km, because a high percentage is done in electric mode and the average fuel consumption may be very low) between points where easy access to an electrical outlet Example, between home and work). On the other hand, whoever takes longer journeys is likely to be more interested in opting for a Cooper D Countryman ALL4.
It is on sale for 37 600 euros, although the first units will not reach the dealers until the end of June 2017. It is 1900 euros more affordable than the BMW 225xe iPerformance quoted in the previous paragraph. It also costs less money than the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron and the Volkswagen Golf GTE 1.4 TSI Plug-in Hybrid, two cars with plug -in hybrid drive system similar power.
The combustion engine is gasoline, has three cylinders , 1.5 liters of displacement and its power is 136 hp (the same engine of the MINI Cooper Countryman, regarding which does not change anything). The electric motor (synchronous type) has 88 hp. The energy recovery system acting in solidarity with the engine crankshaft (KERS) gives 20 HP. The combined power of the hybrid system is 224 hp. The combustion engine is connected to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic gearbox (the ratios are longer than in the Cooper) and the electric motor to the rear. Both can operate at the same time or independently, depending on the battery charge, the power demanded by the driver and the selected driving program.
The driver can choose various power management modes, which are selected from an “eDrive” button on the console. These are: Auto eDrive, Max eDrive Save Battery. You can also choose three driving positions: Normal, Sport and Green.
-AutoeDrive: Can travel in electric mode up to 80 km / h; The combustion engine intervenes when this speed is exceeded and when a lot of acceleration is requested. It also works if the battery is below 7% charge.
-MAX eDrive: Allows to run in electric mode up to 125 km / h. The combustion engine is activated by exceeding that speed or by pressing the throttle fully.
-Save Battery: The vehicle is driven by the combustion engine. The battery is maintained above 90% of its load or recharged to reach that level (in the BMW 225xe iPerformance, in this driving mode, the battery remains above 50%). In practice it is difficult to reach above 80% capacity as the battery makes it very slow recharge from that level.
According to MINI, it can travel up to 42 kilometers in electric mode, although it would under homologation conditions or very favorable. We have managed to do 23 km in unfavorable conditions.
During the national presentation, which took place between the center and the outskirts of Barcelona, with the Cooper Countryman SE ALL4 we have made a journey of 80 km, with two passengers and active air conditioning. At the beginning, the travel computer indicated 96% of recharge and 33 km of electric range. I left the AutoeDrive mode activated and drove in full electric mode 23 km, of which the first eight went through the center of the city with very dense traffic and the rest by the ring road. After this, the indicated electric range was 5 km and, by road, the internal combustion engine was started (up to then the consumption had been 0 l / 100 km). The rest of the route, I activated the Save Battery mode for about 20 km and the electric range went up to 9 km.
With the BMW 225xe we did several tests of autonomy in electric mode in city and, in no case, we managed to cover more than 30 km.
I see it very difficult to approach the figure indicated by MINI, but I do find it relatively easy to reach more than 30 km in electric mode to little that the orography and traffic allow to advance frequently taking advantage of the inertia of the car. Both the heating and the air conditioning of the Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 are electric (they do not depend on the thermal engine), reason why to use them reduces the electric autonomy.
The driving feel is good, as long as it is a bulky car for its length (its front surface is somewhat larger than that of a 225xe iPerformance and its aerodynamic coefficient, worse) and the hybrid system adds 190 kg (with respect to A Cooper D Countryman ALL4 Automatic is 160 kg heavier;) . The suspension, although it is firm, isolates very well to the passengers when going through bumps, irregularities or shoulders because it softly dampens the energy.
The performances are good in short gears, where the maximum acceleration is intense. On curvy roads it is sufficiently agile because the chassis responds in a very neutral way, it does not feel just the inertias and the steering has a firm, fast and precise touch. The feel of the brake pedal, which is often imprecise in cars with regenerative braking, is well resolved and can only be somewhat more difficult to measure braking when driving in electric mode.
The maximum approved speed is 198 km / h, little for its power. This is because the electric motor is switched off by a clutch starting at 135 km / h, since the development of its transmission is chosen “to give agility at normal speeds”. For this reason, only the maximum power is available up to that speed and, from there, it is the gasoline engine that exclusively moves the car.
The combustion engine is housed in the front of the body; The electric goes in the base of the trunk. The battery goes under the rear seats and has 7.6 kWh of capacity.
Due to the presence of the electric motor and the high-voltage battery in the back of the body, the rear seats are higher than in the non-hybrid versions of the MINI Countryman and can not have the optional longitudinal adjustment system of the rest The range. Despite this, and given the generous interior height of the Countryman, two adults of 1.85 m have plenty of room behind to travel comfortably. According to MINI, 3 cm of free height is lost (we have measured 2 cm less with respect to a normal unit with glass ceiling). The 74 cm leg length is preserved.
The fuel tank has 35 liters (instead of 45) and the trunk is smaller capacity (405 instead of 450 liters), which is lost mainly in the hole under the floor, whose approximate dimensions are 19 cm in height , 24 cm deep and 90 cm wide.
The battery (lithium-ion) can be recharged in 2:15 hours with the optional Wallbox charger (which has a power of 7.6 kW). According to MINI, the charge on a domestic plug lasts 3:15 hours. MINI offers the installation of the Wallbox (which is identical to BMW\’s but with the MINI logo) through a subcontracted company that visits the home and does a free prior study.
As standard, it has a 6.5-inch center display (in option there is another 8.8-inch), which displays exclusive data of this version, such as the high voltage battery charge level and the operating mode. It also has a navigator and, depending on the data it provides, “the strategy of operation of the hybrid system is geared to maximize the energy capacity of the high-voltage battery.” The headlights are all-purpose led lights, 17-inch wheels, sports seats, active speed programmer and emergency brake booster with obstacle detection .
The MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 is distinguished from a normal one by painted yellow details such as the cover under which the power outlet (located just in front of the driver\’s front door, the S emblem ( Of Cooper S, that goes in the grill, gate and in the moldings of the entrance) and the boot button located in the console. At the moment there is no application for mobile devices from which to manage the recharge, although it is planned for the future (we have not been told the deadline).