New plug-in hybrid electrifies MINI Countryman

The MINI brand is offering its first plug-in hybrid powertrain and they have chosen to do it in their Countryman model, the brand’s largest offering. Its full name is MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4. Since it is a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), in this review, I will simply refer to it as the Countryman PHEV.

It is worth noting that the Countryman PHEV is not your typical hybrid. Instead of having its electric motor propelling the same axle as its gasoline engine, the Countryman PHEV utilizes a front-mounted gasoline engine to drive the front wheels and a rear-mounted electric motor to drive the rear wheels.

When all-wheel drive traction is required, power from the front-mounted gasoline engine and rear-mounted electric motor can be applied as needed. This unique hybrid technology is borrowed from the BMW i8.

The major difference, though, is that i8 features a rear-mounted gasoline engine and front-mounted electric motor. The Countryman PHEV offers three power modes; Electric Mode, Hybrid Mode and Save Battery Mode.