MINI is preparing to launch the brands first hybrid. The Countryman plugin hybrid will debut in about a year’s time with a modified version of the BMW i8’s drivetrain turns around 180 degrees.
The plug-in hybrid system will be made up of three different engines in total. The 1.5-litre BMW TwinPower Turbo engine generates an output of 100 kW/136 hp together with a peak torque of 220 Nm (162 lb-ft), with power relayed to the front wheels via a six-speed Steptronic transmission. The second is technically a high-voltage generator on the front axle fulfils three different tasks: it boosts the combustion engine for brief periods with extra output of up to 15 kW and some 150 Nm (111 lb-ft) from rest, generates electric power while on the move (which is fed directly to the high-voltage battery), and enables the engine to be started and turned off very smoothly thanks to its higher output compared to conventional starters. The 3rd, the actual electric motor is located above the rear axle, together with its two-speed transmission and the power electronics. It sends output of up to 65 kW/88 hp and maximum torque of 165 Nm (122 lb-ft) through the rear wheels.
The Countryman’s electric only range will be around 24 miles with 0-60 in normal hybrid mode registering around 6.5 seconds. Of course the downside to all of this electrification is weight from the batteries to the tune of around 300 lbs. . . .
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