Company's biggest model in history also gets a PHEV version.
Following its online premiere last month, the 2017 Mini Countryman is making its first live appearance at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show – and is still looking big. That’s not surprising taking into account the new model is almost eight inches longer than the outgoing Countryman, and has an extended wheelbase by 2.9 inches (74 millimetres).
Thanks to this, the distinctive crossover now offers a roomier interior with five seats – or 47.6 cubic feet (1,348 litres) of cargo volume when the rear seats are folded flat. In this second generation Countryman you can order an optional power tailgate and a rear bench, both unique for 2017 model year and designed to make your life easier.
Mini says the change of generation also brings “clear advancements in the areas of versatility, sporty flair, and premium quality,” while a raised seating position provides improved visibility and a classic SUV feeling.
In the United States and Canada, the vehicle will be offered with two familiar gasoline engines - a 1.5-litre three-cylinder unit with 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque, and a 2.0-litre four-cylinder motor generating 189 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque.
If you want a more frugal option, you can order the plug-in hybrid version (pictured above) which combines the same 1.5-litre engine with an electric motor, sending its power to the rear wheels through a two-stage, single-speed transmission. The model is still labeled as an All4 all-wheel drive machine because it technically has an AWD system.
Back to the gasoline-powered variants. Both engines can be paired with either front- or all-wheel drive. The standard equipment includes a six-speed manual gearbox, while the Cooper S Countryman, the Cooper S Countryman All4, and the Cooper Countryman All4 can be optionally ordered with an eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission.
Shortly after the online debut of the 2017 Countryman, a new report revealed the British manufacturer is still thinking about a successor for the Paceman coupe-SUV, which shares the same platform with the four-door model. If the project gets the green light, it will be introduced in 2018, but there's nothing official yet.
Live Photos: James Bradbury / Motor1.com