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THE NEW MINI COUNTRYMAN – Big threat for Audi Q3 and BMW X1? The next Compact-SUV bestseller in Egypt because of 92 Octane?

According to high-ranking managers at the Bavarian Auto Group (BAG) in Egypt, the MINI brand is expected to experience a huge development and a new ‘MINI-era’ in the Egyptian market during the next few weeks and months.

This comes in a very convenient time, as MINI AG has just launched its new MINI Countryman facelift in Europe, which can be a winning horse in the Egyptian market and which is expected to be a fierce competitor to the other ‘more-luxurious’ compact SUVs in this market-segment, namely the Audi Q3, the Volkswagen Tiguan, the BMW X1 and the Mercedes GLK.

And while the Audi Q3 and the Mercedes GLK are expected to have a very hard time with the MINI Countryman, it is expected that the current out-dated and locally-assembled BMW X1 and the recall-troubled Volkswagen Tiguan will not be able to withstand the new MINI Countryman in Egypt.

With a proper and out-of-the-box marketing campaign the new MINI Countryman could even become a market-leader in its segment in Egypt. So, let us wait and see what the top management of the Bavarian Auto Group will do in order to start this new MINI-era in Egypt during the next few weeks and months.

In the meantime we will check the specs and features of the new MINI Countryman, the new MINI Paceman and, last but not least, the new MINI Cooper S which we tested a couple of days ago during the MINI Driving Experience at the BMW & MINI Driving Circuit in Maisach (Germany).
And this week we will feature for you the new MINI Countryman. So, what about the technical specs and features of this interesting new face-lifted model?

The new version of the new Countryman, the first MINI ever offered with four doors, a large tailgate, five seats and optional all-wheel drive, comes with a combined fuel consumption of 7.1- 4.2 l/100 km, and a combined CO2 emissions of 165 - 111 g/km.

The new Countryman hones its profile as an all-round talent for versatile mobility and an active lifestyle as it comes with fresh measures to ensure the continued success of the premium compact model that has sold more than 350,000 units worldwide.

The new MINI Countryman comes with selective design modifications as well as further enhanced driving performance figures. In addition to that MINI optimised the fuel consumption and the emissions and also increased the engine output in the new MINI Cooper S Countryman.

The market launch of all model variants including the top sports model MINI John Cooper Works Countryman is in July 2014.

Striking accents underscore the distinctive interpretation of the hallmark MINI body design:
There is a clear emphasis of the specific dimensions and proportions which conveys variable functionality and versatile athletic flair over all terrains.

The characteristic hexagonal radiator grille in new design reinforces the presence of the upright front section, while the visual underride guard elements for the front and rear apron and side sills are now standard in conjunction with the all-wheel drive system MINI ALL4 (exception: MINI John Cooper Works Countryman) and optional for all other model variants.

The new Countryman comes with new standard and optionally available light alloy wheels with reduced weight and optimised aerodynamics properties and with tyres with reduced rolling resistance as an option.

There are also a new exterior paint options which finish in Jungle Green metallic, Midnight Grey metallic and Starlight Blue metallic. Additional customisation options include contrasting colours for the roof and exterior mirror caps, bonnet stripes and Sport Stripes as well as Piano Black Exterior - available for MINI for the first time.

The car comes with more refined details, optimised acoustic comfort and reinforced premium characteristics in the interior. Now there are dark dials for road speed and engine speed, while the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman comes additionally with John Cooper Works logo in the central instrument.

The ventilation controls come with chrome applications and the five seats offer exceptional variability as the rear seats can be shifted 13 centimetres longitudinally, while the backrests are tilt-adjustable and foldable in a 40: 20 : 40 split.

This allows the luggage compartment volume to be extended from 350 to as much as 1 170 litres, which is very convenient when you are traveling over the weekend to Soukhna, Port Ghalib or to Sahel at the North Coast.

The exterior dimensions of the new Countryman are as follow:

Length: 4 097 millimetres
(MINI Cooper Countryman ALL4 and MINI Cooper D Countryman ALL4: 4 100 millimetres,
MINI Cooper S Countryman and MINI Cooper SD Countryman: 4 109 millimetres,
MINI John Cooper Works Countryman: 4 133 millimetres)

Width: 1 789 millimetres

Height: 1561 millimeters
(MINI John Cooper Works Countryman 1 549 millimetres)

Wheelbase: 2 595 millimetres
(MINI John Cooper Works Countryman 2 596 millimetres)

As we are used from MINI over the past years since BMW AG took control of the British brands, it is no surprise that the new Countryman comes with outstanding safety, including a top 5-star rating on the Euro NCAP crash test thanks to extensive standard equipment features in the areas of active and passive safety.

It is now also supplemented with type pressure control on each individual wheel and comes with daytime driving light.

The new Countryman comes with high-quality standard trim and a wide selection of options for additional driving fun, increased comfort and maximum customization, such as new LED fog lights including daytime driving and parking light in LED technology.

Other features available include xenon headlamps and adaptive turning light, comfort access, panorama glass roof, automatic air conditioning, removable tow hitch with trailer load of up to 1 200 kilograms, MINI navigation system, Sport Button, sports suspension, sports leather steering wheel with shift paddles for automatic transmission, multifunction steering wheel with cruise control, Harman Kardon hi-fi speaker system and model-specific John Cooper Works accessories.

We will also find an extensive MINI Connected in-car infotainment program, including unique functional diversity and permanent expansion options with apps integrated in the automobile via smartphone which are expected to increase the driving fun with typical MINI functions such as Mission Control, Dynamic Music, Driving Excitement and MINIMALISM Analyser.

The online connection also enables the use of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and foursquare as well as Glympse, RSS news feed reception and entertainment programs such as AUPEO!, Stitcher, Deezer, Audible, Napster/Rhapsody and TuneIn.

The extensive engine portfolio comprising 4-cylinder petrol and 4-cylinder diesel engines now all come with emission rating according to EU6 emission standard. The output increased by 5 kW to 140 kW/190 hp in the MINI Cooper S Countryman. Optimized driving performance and fuel consumption figures have been created due to extended MINIMALISM technology including improved aerodynamic properties.

The 6-speed manual transmission now comes as standard while the 6-speed automatic transmission as an option with the exception of the MINI One D (Diesel) Countryman. But in Egypt and the Middle East most MINI Countryman models are expected to be offered with automatic transmission only.

The MINI specific all-wheel drive system ALL4 is optional for the models MINI Cooper Countryman, MINI Cooper S Countryman, MINI Cooper D Countryman and MINI Cooper SD Countryman, and comes as standard in the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman.

And those are all the different diesel and gasoline MINI Countryman model variants offered by MINI AG, while only the gasoline variants are expected to be offered in Egypt and the Middle East region:

MINI John Cooper Works Countryman: 4-cylinder petrol engine with twin-scroll turbocharger, direct injection and fully variable valve control based on BMW Group VALVETRONIC technology,
capacity: 1 598 cc, output: 160 kW/218 hp at 6 000 rpm, max. torque: 280 Nm at 1 900 - 5 000 rpm (300 Nm at 2 100 - 4 500 rpm with overboost), acceleration (0-100 km/h): 6.9 seconds (automatic: 6.9 seconds),
top speed: 228 km/h (225 km/h), average fuel consumption according to EU: 7.1 litres/100 kilometres (7.5 litres), CO2 emissions: 165 g/km (175 g/km), exhaust emission standard: EU6.

MINI Cooper S Countryman: 4-cylinder petrol engine with twin-scroll turbocharger, direct injection and fully variable valve control based on BMW Group VALVETRONIC technology,
capacity: 1 598 cc, output: 140 kW/190 hp at 5 500 - 6 500 rpm, max. torque: 240 Nm at 1 600 - 5 000 rpm (260 Nm at 1 700 - 4 500 with overboost), acceleration (0-100 km/h): 7.5 seconds (automatic: 7.8 seconds),
top speed: 218 km/h (214 km/h), average fuel consumption according to EU: 6.0 litres/100 kilometres (6.8 litres), CO2 emissions: 139 g/km (157 g/km), exhaust emission standard: EU6.

MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4: 4-cylinder petrol engine with twin-scroll turbocharger, direct injection and fully variable valve control based on BMW Group VALVETRONIC technology,
capacity: 1 598 cc, output: 140 kW/190 hp at 5 500 - 6 500 rpm, max. torque: 240 Nm at 1 600 - 5 000 rpm (260 Nm at 1 700 - 4 500 with overboost), acceleration (0-100 km/h): 7.7 seconds (automatic: 8.1 seconds),
top speed: 215 km/h (213 km/h), average fuel consumption according to EU: 6.4 litres/100 kilometres (7.1 litres), CO2 emissions: 148 g/km (165 g/km), exhaust emission standard: EU6.

MINI Cooper Countryman: 4-cylinder petrol engine with fully variable valve control based on BMW Group VALVETRONIC technology,
capacity: 1 598 cc,
output: 90 kW/122 hp at 6 000 rpm, max. torque: 160 Nm at 4 250 rpm, acceleration (0-100 km/h): 10.4 seconds (automatic: 11,6 seconds),
top speed: 191 km/h (184 km/h),
average fuel consumption according to EU: 5.9 litres/100 kilometres (6.9 litres), CO2 emissions: 137 g/km (159 g/km), exhaust emission standard: EU6.

MINI Cooper Countryman ALL4: 4-cylinder petrol engine with fully variable valve control based on BMW Group VALVETRONIC technology (in the MINI Cooper Countryman ALL4 with automatic transmission also: twin-scroll turbocharger, direct injection),
capacity: 1 598 cc,
output: 90 kW /122 hp at 6 000 rpm, max. torque: 160 Nm (MINI Cooper Countryman ALL4 with automatic transmission: 190 Nm) at 4 250 rpm, acceleration (0-100 km/h): 11.5 seconds (automatic: 11,7 seconds),
top speed: 186 km/h (184 km/h), average fuel consumption according to EU: 6.7 litres/100 kilometres (7.0 litres), C02 emissions: 156 g/km (164 g/km), exhaust emission standard: EU6

MINI One Countryman: 4-cylinder petrol engine with fully variable valve control based on BMW Group VALVETRONIC technology,
capacity: 1 598 cc,
output: 72 kW/98 hp at 6 000 rpm, max. torque: 153 Nm at 3 000 rpm,
acceleration (0-100 km/h): 11.9 seconds (automatic: 13,9 seconds),
top speed: 175 km/h (170 km/h),
average fuel consumption according to EU: 5.7 litres/100 kilometres (6.9 litres), C02 emissions: 134 g/km (159 g/km), exhaust emission standard: EU6.

MINI Cooper SD Countryman: 4-cylinder turbodiesel with aluminium crankcase, common rail injection and variable turbine geometry,
capacity: 1 995 cc,
output: 105 kW/143 hp at 4 000 rpm, max. torque: 305 Nm at 1 750 - 2 700 rpm,
acceleration (0-100 km/h): 9.2 seconds (automatic: 9.4 seconds),
top speed: 200 km/h (197 km/h), average fuel consumption according to EU: 4.5 litres/100 kilometres (5.7 litres), C02 emissions: 119 g/km (149 g/km), exhaust emission standard: EU6.

MINI Cooper SD Countryman ALL4: 4-cylinder turbodiesel with aluminium crankcase, common rail injection and variable turbine geometry,
capacity: 1 995 cc,
output: 105 kW/143 hp at 4 000 rpm, max. torque: 305 Nm at 1 750 - 2 700 rpm,
acceleration (0-100 km/h): 9.3 seconds (automatic: 9.4 seconds),
top speed: 197 km/h (195 km/h),
average fuel consumption according to EU: 4.8 litres/100 kilometres (5.9 litres), C02 emissions: 126 g/km (156 g/km), exhaust emission standard: EU6.

MINI Cooper D Countryman: 4-cylinder turbodiesel with aluminium crankcase, common rail injection and variable turbine geometry, capacity: 1 598 cc (MINI Cooper D Countryman with automatic transmission: 1 995 cc), output: 82 kW/112 hp at 4000 rpm, max. torque: 270 Nm at 1 750 - 2 250 rpm, acceleration: (0-100 km/h): 10.9 seconds (automatic: 11.3 seconds), top speed: 186 km/h (181 km/h), average fuel consumption according to EU: 4.2 litres/100 kilometres (5.6 litres), C02 emissions: 111 g/km (148 g/km), exhaust emission standard: EU6.

MINI Cooper D Countryman ALL4: 4-cylinder turbodiesel with aluminium crankcase, common rail injection and variable turbine geometry,
capacity: 1 598 cc (MINI Cooper D Countryman ALL4 with automatic transmission: 1 995 cc),
output: 82 kW/112 hp at 4000 rpm,
max. torque: 270 Nm at 1 750 - 2 250 rpm,
acceleration (0-100 km/h): 11.6 seconds (automatic: 11,9 seconds),
top speed: 181 km/h (176 km/h),
average fuel consumption according to EU: 4.7 litres/100 kilometres (5.9 litres), C02 emissions: 123 g/km (155 g/km), exhaust emission standard: EU6.

MINI One D Countryman: 4-cylinder turbodiesel with aluminium crankcase, common rail injection and variable turbine geometry,
capacity: 1 598 cc,
output: 66 kW/90 hp at 4 000 rpm,
max. torque: 215 Nm at 1 750 - 2 500 rpm,
acceleration (0-100 km/h): 12.9 seconds,
top speed: 171 km/h,
average fuel consumption according to EU: 4.2 litres/100 kilometres, CO2 emissions: 111 g/km, exhaust emission standard: EU6.

And as the best comes last, one of the most important points for Egyptian consumers is the high engine power while at the same time small engine displacement for customs and tax reasons.

And at this point the Countryman promises to be a big success in the Egyptian show-rooms and on the Egyptian roads as, unlike the MINI Cooper S which comes with a 2000cc-engine producing 192hp, all the gasoline-powered MINI Countryman models come with several 1600cc-engine versions producing between 98hp (153Nm) and 218hp (300Nm).

And the main reason why the new MINI Countryman might become a best-seller in Egypt is that all the 1.6-litre gasoline engines come as standard with the direct injection and fully variable valve control based on well-known BMW Group VALVETRONIC technology, which allows you to use low-octane fuel such 92 octane without any problems and without fearing any engine damage or engine failure, as it is the case with many Mercedes, Volvo and Volkswagen engines when using 92 octane.

This means you will be able to fill up your car with the 2.60-LE-expensive 92 Octane fuel instead of paying 6.25 LE for the 95 Octane fuel like the other Volvo, Mercedes and Volkswagen owners will have to do in order to avoid engine failure.

Most important questions now is: How does the new MINI Countryman perform on the Middle Eastern roads in general and on the Egyptian roads in specific? And does it make sense to buy the old Countryman as a used car in regard to quality, durability and resale value?

Well, that is what we fill find out in a few days when we finish the test-drives of both the new MINI Countryman as well as the old Countryman.

Mohamed Sheta
07.07.2014
Cairo – Munich - Dubai



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