Australians can buy hybrid Mini EV next year | The Driven
MINI Countryman PHEV. Image: Supplied

It’s official – the wait is almost over. Well, that is if you are a fan of iconic British brand Mini and committed to electric mobility.

BMW Group has on Friday confirmed introduction of the MINI Countryman S E All4 PHEV, in the second quarter of 2019.

The news comes just months after MINI Australia product planning manager Daniel Silverwood promised a Q3 confirmation on the date of arrival of a MINI PHEV on Australian shores.

At the time, at the launch of the BMW i3 in Warrandyte, Silverwood admitted there were already a few in the country.

“We’re taking a fairly cautious and measured approach to introduction in Australia. We’ve got a couple of cars here,” he said.

The news comes hot on the heels of the release of sketches for an all-electric MINI Countryman, which will go into production next year in Britain and China.

Powered by a 3-cylinder turbo petrol engine and synchronous electric motor, the Countryman PHEV has a top speed of 125km/h, electric range of 40km and 165kW output.

The instantly recognisable MINI E badge. Source: MINI Australia

The plug-in hybrid is the first of its kind to sport a MINI badge and carries its 7.6kWh capacity battery back under the rear seat.

MINI says the battery can be charged in 3 hours and 15 minutes through a standard home socket, or this can be reduced to 2 hours and 15 minutes using a MINI Wallbox.

In addition to being able to charge the battery at the wall, a SAVE BATTERY mode shunts power to the combustion engine allowing the battery to recharge while on the move.

While MINI states that top speeds of 125km/h are possible in the Countryman PHEV, this is only running on petrol. In pure electric mode, drivers can expect 80km/h.

To ensure the driver gets the best of both worlds, MINI have kitted out the plug-in hybrid with an ‘eDrive’ switch which allows the driver to toggle between driving modes to get the most out of the car’s performance and efficiency.

MINI are offering a six year, 100,000 warranty on the battery and two servicing packages. Basic packages will get owners 5 years of scheduled services only, with Plus owners benefitting from ‘additional selected maintenance items’.

Unfortunately, if you’re wondering how much a Countryman PHEV will set you back once it reaches Australian shores, you’ll have to wait a little longer – MINI are not letting that cat out of the bag until we get a little closer to an Australian launch.

However with the Countryman PHEV falling somewhere between the Cooper SD All4 and JCW All4 in the Countryman range, we’re guessing it will be somewhere in the vicinity of $A53,900 and $A59,900, not including on-road costs.

Those after a 100 per cent electric MINI, meanwhile, are still no wiser as to when that will hit our shores. But a spokesman for the company said the commitment to the delivery of a MINI PHEV “signposts the group’s commitment to alternative propulsion.”

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