2017 Mini Countryman Plug-in Hybrid Debuts at LA Auto Show

Following its online debut last month, Mini’s 2017 Countryman SE ALL4 plug-in hybrid made its first public appearance Wednesday at the Los Angles auto show.

The new Countryman borders on Not-So-Mini by growing larger in every dimension – head, shoulder and leg room expand for both front and rear occupants.

The cargo space grows the most, expanding by 30 percent over the outgoing model.

While it still looks like a Mini, beneath the sheetmetal is the BMW owned company’s first plug-in model.

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The powertrain consists of a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine powering the front wheels, a six-speed automatic transmission and an electric motor that serves the rear wheels.

Mini states that total system output is 221 horsepower and 284 pounds-feet of torque, getting the Countryman plug-in hybrid from 0 to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds, and on to a top speed of 137 mph.

A 7.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack mounted under the rear seats provides enough juice for an electric-only range of 24 miles, at speeds up to 77 mph.

SEE ALSO: Plug-in Car Sales Were Up 13 Percent in Europe Over August 2015

The hybrid features a unique version of Mini’s All4 all-wheel drive system. Only one system will work at a time, unless the conditions require four driven wheels.

The car can operate in three distinct modes, one of which will hold the battery at 90 percent charge until the driver wants to use it.

mini-plug-in_rear

Inside, the fun toggle switches are still there, and without checking boxes, the Countryman plug-in includes keyless entry, leather upholstery, sunroof, Mini Connected infotainment system, rearview camera, rear parking sensors and Bluetooth connectivity.

This second-generation Countryman will also be offered with two familiar gasoline engines — a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder unit, and a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo motor.

The gas-powered Countryman goes on sale in March 2017, while the hybrid is set to arrive shortly thereafter in June. As for pricing, Mini’s not talking yet.