Mini has released preview images of what will become a plug-in hybrid Countryman SUV model.
“With this model we want to convince MINI customers of the benefits of hybrid drive”, said head of brand management Sebastian Mackensen, “and impress everyone who already has hybrid driving experience with MINI’s unique go-kart driving feel.”
The new car will provide electric power to the rear wheels, and petrol power to the front.
Auto eDrive standard mode permits speeds of up to 50mph, whilst in Max eDrive mode speeds of up to 75mph are possible.
Mackensen added: “In a hybrid MINI model, driving electrically must also be an exhilarating experience. This means that entirely electric driving is not limited to speeds of 30 or 40 km/h, but to speeds well beyond city traffic pace."
A third mode, Save Battery, also exists. The combustion engine powers the car whilst at the same time, the high voltage battery can retain charge at a constant level or indeed increase charge via a generator. Extended driving in Save Battery mode enables enough power generation for purely electric driving later.
The Countryman will not be the first electric model for Mini - the Mini E was trialled in London with a select pool of 40 customers from 2009-2011, but was never available for mainstream sale.