Yalla MINI with Mini Countryman – A Mini not so mini anymore
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The Previous year at Los Angeles Motor Show Mini showcased its new and biggest ever model "The Countryman" and now it’s the time when it is up for sales. In 2010, unlike its image Mini surprisingly introduced a not so Mini model in its line-up. It maintained some traction in the market but following the demand of the customers especially from US and China for more spaced out cars, Mini has decided to make its big mini the biggest it has ever produced. "There will not be a larger Mini for the foreseeable future," said Mini’s boss, Sebastian Mackensen.
On 1st of April 2017 at Kite Beach, Jumeirah, AGMC Mini had conducted a public event “Yalla MINI” where people can enjoy the special test ride on a performance track on the beach itself along with other fun filled activities like Yoga, Paddle Boarding, Kayaking, Capoeira, Beach Soccer, Bongo Drums and much more.
People in large numbers appreciated and became a part of these festivities, Countryman ride was also one of the attractions which people really enjoyed - A Mini climbing off the ramp and course, gave all these excited people a true flavour of this new sturdy shade of Mini.
Countryman has gained 200mm in its wheelbase and around 30mm in its width, in comparison to the first generation model. Now it will compete in the compact crossover class among competitors like Volkswagen Tiguan, Audi Q2, Mercedes-Benz GLA and BMW X1. Its Front wheel/All-wheel drive platform is shared with other parent models like BMW X1 and 2 Series minivan.
Apart from these Dimensional alterations, the car and its iconic essence haven’t changed much and anyone can easily notice that same old mini in it which gives this car some emotional appeal as well. New detailing around bumpers, fenders, door sills and wheel arches give it a strong character line. Mini fans will easily recognize its tail lamps and taller and wider than before front grill. It's overall styling, contour and force out its rugged character, unlike a usual Mini.
It’s a quite spacious car from the inside than its predecessor, with good shoulder and head space in front and rear seats, leg room in Mini Countryman is also much improved than before. Its boot space is 220 liters more than first generation model, it has 450 liters of volume to store all of your stuff you need down the trip. The dashboard is substantially detailed than previous mini models with unique ambiance and newly designed air vents which give the mini countryman some fresh flavour. However, most of the interior details like central infotainment system, instrument dials, and the toggle switches are taken from its smaller sibling to keep the sense of brand recall among its fans.
It’s a practical car, launched to change its image to a Family car instead of 2nd or 3rd car. It's three passenger individually folding rear seats can now slide back and forth up to 130mm according to your need of more legroom or more boot space, shows how brand put its emphasis on the versatility of this vehicle. It's 450 liters of boot space can be increased up to 1390 liters by folding the rear row seats.
Mini Countryman under the future vision of its parent organization ‘BMW Group’ will be launched in a plug-in Hybrid version as well along with the Petrol and Diesel Engine options and after Tesla, UAE can expect this Plug-in Hybrid in this changing market, but for now, only petrol engines are available. Mini will offer Front wheel drive and Mini’s All4 Four wheel drive as its drive train options. Its transmission options of six-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox with steering-wheel shift paddles will be available for Mini Countryman.
For UAE 2 grades Mini Countryman Cooper and Cooper S will be available, with no John Cooper Works Model being announced as if now. Cooper which is a base model, have a 1.5L Intercooled Turbo 3Cyl Engine with 134 HP and 22.43 kg-m of Torque as a standard set, while Cooper S employs a 2.0L Intercooled Turbo 4Cyl Engine with 189 HP and 28.55 kg-m of Torque and comes paired with an ALL4 Mini Drive system which calculates the optimal torque required for each wheel.
Last year Mini sold 338,466 vehicles worldwide reflecting a growth of around 12% in terms of sales. The Group is expecting this countryman to boost these figures to a certain extent this year. The New positioning of this model as a Versatile Compact Crossover will surely increase the targeted customers for this vehicle and now when this vehicle is launched in UAE and Middle Eastern markets, it will be interesting to see how customers are appreciating this car.