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[UPDATE: We’ve received official confirmation from MINI USA that the Cooper ALL4 version of the Paceman and Countryman will not be coming to the US Market at present.]

Previously, MINI’s exceptional all-wheel-drive system, ALL4, has only been available as an option on the Cooper S, and (where available) diesel versions of the Countryman and Paceman. It comes standard on the JCW version of both cars. That’s changing, however. Starting in July, the Cooper versions of both the Countryman and the Paceman will also be available with optional ALL4, extending this popular option to a new place in the model range. On the one hand, this provides a more affordable, more fuel-efficient AWD option in the MINI lineup — maximizing traction for people who feel the need for extra grip.

On the other, the added weight of the system will make two already slow cars that much slower. According to MINI, the Cooper Countryman ALL4 (with manual transmission) does 0-62 in a leisurely 11.9 seconds. That’s 2.1 seconds slower than FWD version’s 0-60 time. Fuel consumption, on the other hand is only down 1 mpg on the highway, according to MINI, on manual transmission-equipped Countryman. No word yet on US availability Sadly, we won’t be getting the Cooper ALL4 models here in the US anytime soon (press release was for UK market), and no word yet on pricing.

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In the end, we think it’s a great option for people who live in places like the snow belt where traction can be at a premium. If the system is going to be available in the first place, then why not make it available across the lineup? We expect the next generation MINI, the F56, to support AWD in some form or another as well. What about you? Would you opt for ALL4 without the extra horsepower of the Cooper S, Diesel, or JCW? Let us know in the comments.

Official Release: The spontaneous power delivery and precise handling of the MINI all-wheel drive system ALL4 is now avaible in two more models: ALL4 will be available for the MINI Cooper Countryman and the MINI Cooper Paceman from July 2013. This increases the number of all-wheel versions within the MINI model range to ten models. The new models are also fitted with 6-speed manual transmission as standard, with 6-speed automatic transmission available as an option.

With the enhanced traction, driving stability and ability the permanent all-wheel drive system helps the driver stay in control while driving on snow, sand or slippery surfaces, as well offering extra grip on twisty roads. ALL4 is based on an electromagnetic centre differential and distributes drive force at continuously variable levels between the front and rear axle. Its electronic control system is integrated directly in the DSC control unit (Dynamic Stability Control), enabling it to direct drive torque quickly and precisely to where it can be most effectively transformed into propulsion.

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In the new models MINI Cooper Countryman ALL4 and MINI Cooper Paceman ALL4, the all-wheel drive system distributes the power of a 1.6-litre 4-cylinder engine with an output of 90 kW/122 bhp between the front and rear wheels. Spontaneous forward thrust is guaranteed by the engine’s maximum torque of 160 Newton metres (190 Nm with automatic transmission), at an engine speed of 4,250 rpm.

As a result, the MINI Cooper Countryman ALL4 sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 11.9 seconds (automatic: 11.7 seconds). The top speed is 184 km/h (182 km/h). Due to the high level of efficiency of both engine and drivetrain as well as extensive MINIMALISM technology, the boost in driving fun goes hand in hand with low levels of fuel consumption and emissions. The MINI Countryman ALL4 has an average fuel consumption of 6.9 litres per 100 kilometres (automatic: 7.5 litres) on the EU test cycle and CO2 emissions of 167 (175) grams per kilometre.

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The relation between driving fun and fuel consumption is equally impressive in the MINI Cooper Paceman ALL4. This model takes 11.8 seconds (automatic: 11.6 seconds) to accelerate from standing to 100 km/h and attains a top speed of 185 (183) km/h. Its fuel consumption and CO2 emission levels on the EU test cycle are the same as those of the MINI Cooper Countryman ALL4.

With this extension of the model range there will be four versions of each of the MINI Countryman and MINI Paceman with optional ALL4 in future. The previously available portfolio comprises the models MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 and MINI Cooper S Paceman ALL4 (135 kW/184 bhp), the MINI Cooper SD Countryman ALL4 and the MINI Cooper SD Paceman ALL4 (105 kW/143 bhp), along with the MINI Cooper D Countryman ALL4 and the MINI Cooper D Paceman ALL4 (82 kW/112 bhp). The top sports models MINI John Cooper Works Countryman and MINI John Cooper Works Paceman transmit their outstanding engine output of 160 kW/218 bhp to all wheels as standard.

MINI has conquered new terrain since the market launch of the MINI Countryman and has welcomed a new group of customers into the MINI family.

Source: MINI