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The Biggiest Mini Yet: 2011 Countryman Crossover

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On: Fri, May 14, 2010 at 1:02PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

The Biggiest Mini Yet: 2011 Countryman Crossover

The Mini Cooper Countryman Crossover is finally here! It seems like it has been forever since the four-door, all-wheel-drive, rugged-styled version based on the basic Mini Cooper theme was unveiled at the Paris Auto Show two years ago. Now that the concept car has evolved into a market-ready vehicle, having made its official debut at the Geneva auto show this year, it won’t be long before it is available in the United States.

Mini is referring to the Countryman as a cross between the “classic concept” and a modern “Sports Activity Vehicle,” reflecting its parent company, BMW’s German engineering.
This is the biggest Mini yet, with seating capacity for five people. At 161.3 inches in length, the new crossover is 5.5 inches longer than the Mini Clubman, and 15.7 inches longer than the original Cooper. A three-place bench seat is available which will enable the new Mini crossover to seat five in comfort as the seatback cushions recline.

The rear doors are designed for ease of access to the raised rear seating area (for better visibility for rear passengers), and options will be available for either two bucket seats in the back, or one long center console (referred to as the Mini Central Rail or three-person bench). The back seats fold to allow for extra cargo space; other interior cabin features are designed with the same luxury as the standard Mini Cooper.

The Countryman will be offered with the choice of two engines: a standard front-wheel-drive 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 121 horsepower, or the turbocharged engine with 181 hp included in the all-wheel drive Mini Cooper S Countryman model. The engine has BMW's valvetronic variable valve lift system combined with a twin-scroll turbocharger and direct injection. The result is 181 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 177 pound-feet of torque with 192 lb-ft on the overboost. Manual or automatic 6-speed transmission is available.

The crossover model is designed with a higher ground clearance, and while the standard is front-wheel drive, there is also an all-wheel drive option designed for optimal driving during inclement road conditions.

The new Mini Coachman SUV offers many things that the smaller versions of Mini cannot, and the price certainly reflects it, with a sticker price starting at $30,000-$40,000. Regardless of its March reveal at the Geneva Auto Show, the Coachman won’t hit Mini dealers until late September.

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