WE Wait For The Cheaper Plug-in Hybrid Crossover

Automotive

Published on July 4th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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WE Wait For The Cheaper Plug-in Hybrid Crossover

Mini-Countryman

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Plug-in hybrid SUVs seem to be the “in” thing among luxury carmakers, with BMW and Volvo all rolling out plug-in versions of recent large utility vehicles but prices remain beyond the reach of the average man (Volvo XC90 at RM402k and BMW X5 at RM388k). And that trend may soon extend to yet another brand, one known for making vehicles that are a bit smaller. The next MINI Countryman crossover may get a plug-in hybrid powertrain, borrowed from the European-market BMW 2 Series Active Tourer with which it will share a platform. This could bring its selling price down to below RM150k!

MINI is in the process of transitioning its vast array of models to the UKL platform that debuted with the current-generation MINI Hardtop back in 2013.

It is also eliminating models like the odd Coupe and Roadster that were deemed superfluous, leaving the Countryman next in line for a redesign. The Paceman which is a two-door version of the Countryman will also likely be eliminated.

The Countryman would likely benefit the most from a plug-in hybrid powertrain in terms of its ratings. That powertrain will most likely come from the BMW 225xe Active Tourer multi-purpose vehicle. Power output could remain the same in the Countryman, but that future crossover may weigh more and have a less aerodynamic body, which could affect efficiency. It will run with a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine the same one used in current MINI models and six-speed automatic transmission to power its front wheels. An electric motor powers the rear wheels, giving it a “through the road” all-wheel drive system. It will probably have a combined output of 221 horsepower, and an electric-only range of 25 miles at least.

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