Tiny-carmaker Mini unveiled it’s hybrid all-wheel-drive Countryman E at the LA Auto Show today. What’s intriguing is that while it’s an AWD vehicle, the front wheels are powered by the gas engine while the rear are connected to an electric motor.
Those two powertrains pump out a combined 221 horsepower. The 1.5 turbo-charged internal combustion engine that puts out 134 horsepower while the rear motor outputs 87. Like most hybrids, the vehicle offers multiple driving modes based on range and motoring style.
Like its gas-powered sibling introduced last night, the new Countryman E is eight inches longer and one inch wider than the current vehicle. That translates to more cargo space for what Mini insists will be “awesome beach barbeques.”
The new Countryman E’s electric system is based on the platform used by parent company BMW’s all electric i3 and i8 vehicles. That pedigree will extend to an all-electric Mini that Peter Schwarzenbauer, member of the BMW board of management said the automaker would launch in urban areas in 2019.
According to Schwarzenbauer the Countryman model accounts for 25 percent of all Minis sold so it’s not that big of a surprise that the automaker choose it to be its first hybrid. Unfortunately, there’s no word on the range of driving in pure electric mode, what Mini expects the MPGe to be, when it’ll be launched or pricing.