Mini's next-generation crossover, the all-electric Mini Countryman SE, will be available in the South African market from the second quarter of 2024.
Billed as the largest Mini model, the new electric sports utility vehicle has extended driving assistant functions and a range of up to 433km.
The driving assistant allows the driver to take their hands off the wheel at speeds of up to 60km/h. It can also identify gaps in traffic to bring the vehicle to the optimum speed, to help the motorist change lanes.
“The new all-electric, all-wheel-drive Mini Countryman is the first Mini ‘made in Germany’ and makes a statement for environmentally-friendly mobility,” says Stefanie Wurst, head of Mini.
“Two electric motors with a total output of 230kW and torque of 494 Newton metres guide the Mini Countryman SE ALL4 through any terrain. Together, they accelerate the vehicle from 0 to 100km/h in 5.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 180km/h.”
The car’s operating system allows all vehicle functions to be operated via touch or voice assistant.
BMW acquired Mini in 1994 when it bought Rover Group (formerly British Leyland), which owned Mini, among other brands. BMW broke up with the group in 2000, retaining the Mini brand.
The Mini Countryman SE ALL4 is priced from $45 200 in the US. Local pricing is not yet available.
According to BMW, Mini will introduce battery electric vehicle (BEV) versions of the Countryman in various parts of the globe next year, which will be offered in two models: Countryman E and CountrymanSE ALL4.
The German multinational vehicle manufacturer has been an early developer of EVs in SA since 2015, with the introduction of the BMW i3 and i8 models.
In 2020, the company introduced the first electric Mini Cooper to SA and pledged to have 10 million BEVs on global roads by 2030.
BMW has been accelerating its EV production, as it targets carbon emissions reduction industry-wide.
The company previously told ITWeb it expects its electrified vehicles to account for 15% to 25% of total global sales before 2025.