Mini Reveals New Countryman Crossover

Staff - CAP staff
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Mini has been leaping forward with new designs recently, opening up new and interesting variations on the core Mini styling. Just over a month ago they revealed their door-less, roof-less, Mini Beachcomber concept car that has been turning some heads, and now they have pulled the covers off of the production version of a unique crossover offering fittingly named, the Countryman Crossover.

What strikes most first about the new Countryman is its size. Mini has always been the builder of tiny cars, but the Countryman is the first four-door in the Mini range. It rides higher off the ground and has a wider body than other Minis. It even has a wide opening rear lid to ease loading in the back – especially handy when you need to throw down the rear seats and load up your camping gear.

The interior of the Countryman is an exercise in simplicity, with a single speedo gauge facing the steering wheel and a slick, compass-like façade for the center console. The interior feels somewhat spartan, but the MINI wears it well. In what is a nice touch, the Countryman has a rail that travels, from front to back, down the center of the car. The items that fit in the rail have clip-releases that allow you to slide them along the rail to place them where needed. So, if your passengers have some drinks in the back, just slide the cupholders back there for them to use.

The Countryman arrives with the choice of three different gasoline models and 2 diesels, the latter likely not available in North American markets. At the low-end, the base Countryman will feature a 1.6L four that puts out 90hp, with the Mini Cooper S Countryman pumping out 184 turbocharged ponies at the other end of the spectrum. Most newsworthy of all, however, is the fact that the Countryman comes with an all-wheel drive option.

In spite of the newfangled looks, the Countryman is still quintessentially Mini. It stands apart from the other Minis, but there will be no mistaking it for any other car brand. In a world of sculpted car designs, it is somewhat refreshing that a car company consistently retains the same basic design style over time and they manage to do so without it looking or feeling stale.

More details to come when the Mini Countryman Crossover makes its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Crossover, Mini, 2011, Countryman,

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