After unveiling its new blueprint earlier this year, Mini is revealing additional details about its new electric Countryman model.
Known as the Countryman SE All4, the 2024 model will feature a 66.45-kWh battery and puts down 313 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque through all four wheels.
Comparing range figures, power, and charging times shows a middle-of-the-road electric compact crossover, but will it charm its way into buyers' minds?
Earlier this year, Mini revealed its future business blueprint, outlining a brand new approach for long-range, high-performance electric vehicles. No longer will metropolitan-aimed, low-range, meager power be acceptable. Mini's models aren't toys, after all.
What better model to emphasize this than the Countryman, Mini's first compact crossover venture that shares a platform with the BMW X1? To make its Countryman offerings ready for the 21st century, however, Mini had to upgrade its battery capacity significantly.
Previously unreleased, Mini says the battery in the upscale Countryman SE All4 will feature 66.45 kWh of capacity, allowing for 313 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque and a 0-60 mph time of 5.6 seconds. In turn, you can travel 270 miles on a single charge, though its claimed range is based on the optimistically rated WLTP test cycle.
That's on par with EPA mileage ratings for certain trims of Hyundai's Ioniq 5, the incoming Volvo EX30, and the Volkswagen ID.4. In such a crowded segment, it takes more than range figures to stand out, but Mini is banking on the right combination of exciting capabilities and luxury features to sell units.
While Mini plans to offer a more affordable, more efficient Countryman E, the flagship Mini model for 2024 will be the Countryman SE All4. Mini is being coy about its adventure capabilities, promising the dual-electric-motor, all-wheel-drive model will deliver maximum off-road character.
But Mini isn't really following up on this exploratory marketing, at least not in its advertised specifications. Beyond the electrified AWD system and a four-inch increase in body height, the Countryman SE All4 rides on road-ready 20-inch rims and appears more focused on its drag coefficient of 0.26 than its approach and departure angles.
Charging times for the medium-sized battery aren't particularly notable, either. With a maximum speed of 130 kW, Mini says just under 30 minutes are needed to charge the battery from 10% to 80%. That's slightly longer than some of its competitors, though on par when you examine the whole market.
It's no secret that adding some rugged body cladding is sometimes all a manufacturer needs to sell the allure of backcountry exploration.
And Mini could corner certain shoppers in the coming months by adding a kind of BMW-like luxury feel to that divergent exterior. EV charging isn't prevalent off the beaten path, but who says we're all headed there?
With wider seats front and rear, a panoramic glass sunroof, and a round OLED infotainment display, the Countryman SE All4 is ultra-modern inside, and that's not even taking into account its sustainable build.
Recycled polyester makes up a significant portion of the cabin while the wheels are produced with 70% secondary aluminum.
Beyond unverified performance chops and a hyper-modern design language, Mini's latest pitch for compact crossover supremacy includes partially automated SAE Level 2 driving. Known as Driving Assistant Professional, the system allows for hands-free driving up to 37 mph and can even identify gaps in traffic in order to change lanes.
Altogether, Mini's Countryman SE All4 is a solid package with a unique design that's only attributable to Mini, though its on-paper specifications suggest it will be a middling competitor. However, Mini's dedication to evolving its long-held nameplates is commendable, and the behind-the-wheel verdict has yet to be passed down.
Prospective buyers will have to wait, as a Mini spokesperson confirmed the Countryman SE won't start production in Germany until July 2024. The first units will reach dealers in late August or early September, Mini confirmed for Autoweek, though pricing and trim specifics remain unavailable.
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