2014 NYIAS: Mini Countryman revealed
The big Mini is finally out for everyone to squeeze into; fitted with optional ALL4 all wheel drive, the FWD-based chassis has its biggest assignment yet: a lifted hatchback that’s not exactly a crossover, and yet not exactly just a hot hatch either. As has been the case with the new Cooper and Cooper S models, the Countryman features LED daytime running lights, additional legroom and additional inches here and there. Oh, and it has overhead toggle switches, which makes everything better.
Unlike the smaller variants, the Countryman gets 5 seats and, as indicated by Mini, the length of the interior is over 4 meters, a significant feat for the manufacturer of “small” cars. Offered with the standard mills from the Cooper and Cooper S, the Countryman is the heaviest, and the base automatic AWD model nudges 12 seconds on its way to 60 mph. For more information, check out the press release after the jump.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
The British premium brand MINI clearly signals the continuation of its success story at the New York International Auto Show in 2014. The main focus here is the world premiere of the new MINI Countryman. The latest version of the first MINI with four doors, a large tailgate, five seats and optional all-wheel drive system ALL4 will ensure that hallmark brand driving fun and distinctive style become even more sought-after in the premium compact segment. Fresh accentuations in design, refined premium characteristics in the interior and innovative equipment features hone the profile of the new MINI Countryman as an all-round talent for versatile mobility and an active lifestyle.
With over 66 500 units sold, the USA was the important single market for automobiles of the MINI brand in 2013. And the new edition of the largest MINI model now sees its world premiere in that country’s largest city. The new MINI Countryman has everything it takes to continue to attract additional target groups to the distinctive style of the British brand in future. What is more, all indicators are pointing to growth in the small car segment. And the new MINI – also on show in New York – offers the ideal basis for this. The new generation of the original – still the most popular member of the MINI family – provides significant and impressive advancements in the areas of driving fun, efficiency, space, comfort, safety and innovation. With the new editions of the two top-selling models leading the way, the British manufacturer presents the most attractive product program in its history at the New York International Auto Show from April 18th to 27th 2014.
The world premiere of the new MINI Countryman gives an additional boost to the brand’s advancement into the premium compact segment. Distinctive proportions and dimensions, increased ground clearance and an interior which is both spacious and variable – these are the defining characteristics of the first MINI, whose exterior length now exceeds the four-metre mark. The new edition of the MINI Countryman underscores both the hallmark brand properties of the model as well as its specific, distinctive features. Modifications in the area of exterior design include a new structure of the hexagonal radiator grill, striking underride guard elements for the MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4, additional exterior paint finishes and the option Exterior Piano Black. And there are also enhancements in acoustic comfort, athletic flair and premium interior characteristics. Additional accents are provided by weight-optimised light alloy wheels and LED fog lights including parking and daytime driving lights in LED technology.
On the US automotive market the MINI Countryman will be available in two engine variants in future, too, in addition to the highly sports-oriented top model MINI John Cooper Works Countryman. The all-wheel drive system ALL4 specially developed for MINI is optionally available for the MINI Cooper S Countryman. It comes as standard with the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman.
The new MINI once again stands as the pioneer of individual style, premium quality and high-end technology in the small car segment. The latest generation of the original combines evolutionary design advancements with enlarged space and refinements to materials and finish details in the interior. On all four seats there is a tangible increase in freedom of movement, while the luggage compartment has been expanded by around 30 per cent. Entirely newly developed engines increase both the driving fun and the efficiency of the new MINI. The car’s characteristic go-kart feeling is now enhanced with optimised ride comfort, with adjustable dampers being offered as an optional extra for the first time.
A new display and operating concept, innovative driver assistance systems and the latest MINI Connected features also allow even more intensive interaction between driver and MINI. And the new MINI is the first automobile in its class to be fitted with LED headlamps and a Head-Up Display. There will be a choice of the models MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S at the market launch in the USA. Both can be fitted with either the standard 6-speed manual transmission or the optional 6-speed automatic transmission, according to preference.
The new MINI Countryman and the new MINI are crucial in setting the British premium brand’s course for further growth on the global automotive markets. In addition to this, the constantly increasing popularity of MINI in the USA derives from the ongoing expansion of the model program. The current range comprises seven models in total. In the premium small car segment it runs from the latest generation of the MINI to the MINI Clubman with enlarge space for rear passengers and luggage as well as the puristically and athletically designed two-seater MINI Coupé and including the models MINI Convertible and MINI Roadster – which provide open-top driving fun on either four or two seats. What is more, the brand has become well established in the premium compact segment, not just with the MINI Countryman but also with the Sports Activity Coupé MINI Paceman.
The aspirations of especially performance-oriented MINI fans are addressed by the extremely sporty John Cooper Works models. The range of top sports cars now also extends to the small car and compact segments. Here, motor racing technology in the area of engine and suspension, aerodynamically optimised exterior components and a specific cockpit design pave the way for exceptionally intense driving fun in everyday traffic.