The Countryman — if that is what they’ll call it here in the States – is on its way. Could this be the Crossover of the future?
It's 16" longer and has four doors. How can it lose, right?
Staying close to its roots, MINI says its Countryman Crossover will be available in two trim levels, base Cooper and Cooper S. The power train lineup covers three gasoline and two diesel options, although typically we'll likely see only the gas engines here. The S engine is a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder with BMW's twin-scroll turbo and direct fuel injection, rated at 184 hp. Transmission choices are a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic.
It’s all-wheel-drive system will be optional. Called ALL4, the system uses an electro-hydraulic differential to split drive force between the front and rear wheels. Under normal driving conditions, drive force is split 50-50 between the front and rear wheels, but when traction starts slipping up to 100 percent of the drive force can be sent to the rear wheels by the center diff.
The interior looks pretty much the same, save for the center rail into which can be clipped all sorts of things such as cup holders, coin trays, etc. Other options include run-flat tires, a panoramic sunroof, active headlights and a sport suspension that lowers ride height by nearly 0.5 inch. One can only imagine how quickly the price will climb by adding these on. Traction control may also be an option, but stability control including a limited slip differential for the front wheels will be included at no extra cost.
While certainly not as radical as the Beachcomber concept, it does fill the bill nicely for the young and adventurous set, or the empty nesters who want a bit more room and traction safety without sacrificing style, fuel economy or that still-wanna-be-young fun factor. Plus the size is right. So, like I said, how can it lose, right?
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