The Mini Countryman S E All4 plug-in hybrid has been confirmed for the Australian market with an on-sale set for Q2 in 2019 – no pricing has been announced.

THE AUSTRALIAN new car market is beginning to evolve with two new plug-in hybrid SUVs announced within days of one another. Yesterday the Range Rover Sport P400e was announced and today Mini has announced its Countryman S E All4 plug-in hybrid.

The hybrid system is a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine (100kW and 220Nm) driving the front wheels with an electric motor bolted to the rear axle; it produces 65kW and 160Nm of torque via a single-speed transmission. Both motors can work together for maximum traction.

There are several driving modes called eDRIVE, the driver can switch between drive modes:

MAX eDrive mode relies on pure electric power at speeds of up to 125km/h.

AUTO eDrive blends combustion and electrical power, erring towards maximum efficiency but always adaptable. In this mode, pure electric driving is possible at speeds of up to 80km/h.

A SAVE BATTERY mode biases power supply towards the combustion engine, allowing the battery pack to recharge on-the-fly.

In general driving the Countryman S E All4 is powered by the electric motor at up to 80km/h, from there the petrol motor cuts in. Keeping the electric motor supplied are a bank of lithium-ion batteries beneath the back seat, via a standard socket these can be recharged to 80% in around three-hours and fifteen minutes. A cost-optional BMW Wallbox can be purchased and wipes an hour of the recharge time. The battery pack carries a six year, 100,000km warranty.

Question: Do you think plug-in hybrids make more sense than full-electric given the greater charging capability?


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