With many governments in Europe pushing for legislation banning new internal combustion vehicles after 2030, it’s just a matter of time before alternate energy vehicles take over our roads. And most of the world’s major carmakers are already making huge investments into their electric and hybrid vehicle portfolio. BMW’s Mini brand is the latest to jump on the hybrid bandwagon. Mini has previewed its next-generation Countryman as a petrol-electric hybrid, making the crossover the first ever Mini with a hybrid powertrain. Although an all-electric Mini was built in limited numbers back in 2008, it was more of an experimental vehicle than a series production car.
Being a variant of the upcoming second-gen Countryman, the car in the photos sports psychedelic camo all over. Shown being driven by Sebastian Mackensen, head of Mini brand management, with Peter Wolf, head of Mini series management, in the passenger seat, the Countryman hybrid can only be distinguished by the charging socket integrated into the front left fender. Despite being a hybrid, Mini promises that the Countryman will retain the go-kart-like dynamics that the brand is associated with.
“With this model we want to convince MINI customers of the benefits of hybrid drive, and impress everyone who already has hybrid driving experience with MINI’s unique go-kart driving feel,” says Mackensen. Mini claims its plug-in hybrid model is not solely focused on efficiency, but is also “uncompromising in pursuit of driving fun.”
Not much details have been given away, but details about the car, but Mini says the front wheels will be driven by the combustion engine while the rear axle of the all-wheel drive Countryman will be powered by the electric motor. Stating that the high-voltage battery under the rear seats will provide power for “long-lasting electric driving,” the carmaker says speeds of up to 125kph will be possible in pure electric mode.