MINI announces bigger 2017 Countryman with plug-in hybrid option [News]

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The new MINI Countryman may not be so mini anymore, and it’s becoming eco-friendly.

MINI redesigned and re-engineered the Countryman, which will come in both the Cooper and Cooper S trim levels, to be 30 percent larger than previous generations.

And, new for 2017 is MINI’s venture into the hybrid market with the the Cooper S E ALL4 plug-in hybrid, which will be just as large inside as the other trim levels.

The new Countryman Cooper and Cooper S, which can be equipped with front-wheel or all-wheel drive, will go on sale in March 2017. The Cooper S E ALL4 plug-in hybrid will go on sale in June 2017.

“The new MINI Countryman is not only the largest MINI we’ve ever built, but it’s also the most technologically advanced and most versatile MINI of our product line up,” said Thomas Felbermair, vice president MINI of the Americas. “The addition of the plug-in hybrid option is a major milestone for the brand and we look forward to bringing this exciting new vehicle into one of the top performing market segments.”

The new Countryman has changed from the ground up, and will now come with the company’s three-cylinder turbocharged engine in Cooper trim, while the Cooper S will have the four-cylinder turbocharged engine.

The Cooper and the Cooper ALL4 produce 134 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque, while the Cooper S and the Cooper S ALL4 produce 189 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque.

The hybrid will come equipped with a three-cylinder turbocharged engine and an electric hybrid synchronous motor, capable of producing a combined peak output of 221 horsepower.

The Cooper and Cooper S levels will also be more powerful, producing 42 percent more torque than previous generations. The new Countryman also will be able to accelerate much faster than previous generations, going from zero to 60 mph 1.6 seconds faster than the previous model.

Besides offering more cargo room inside, the new Countryman’s seats can be folded or slid to offer more room. The Countryman will also come standard with such features as an expansive sunroof, leatherette upholstery, keyless entry, rearview camera, Bluetooth and others.

The new Countryman models will make their world debut at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show on November 16. Stay tuned to TFLcar for more news from the show and to see the debut of the biggest MINIs.

Check out this TFLcar video of what used to be the biggest MINI ever, the 2016 MINI Clubman: