The 3rd generation MINI Countryman is bigger, more powerful and electric for the first time. Growing noticeably over its predecessor, the all new U25 MINI Countryman Electric is a direct response to the growing small crossover segment. With customers asking for more of everything, MINI has delivered a crossover that is designed to appeal broadly while maintaining its unique MINI character. Perhaps more importantly it’s also the first time MINI has offered fully electric power in its best selling vehicle.
Note: Today MINI is launching its next generation with the new MINI Cooper Electric and MINI Countryman Electric. In anticipation of this release, MINI invited us to experience the new cars in Munich and talk to the people that created them. We’ve taken knowledge and poured it into exclusive in-depth articles, reviews and videos you won’t want to miss.
MINI Cooper EV: Premier | MINI Cooper EV: Hands-On Review | MINI Cooper EV: Video Review
MINI Countryman EV: Premier | MINI Countryman EV: Hands-On Review | MINI Countryman EV: Video Review
New MINI Family: 1st Look Video | MINI Circular Display & MINI OS9 Hands-On Review
For those alarmed that this new Countryman might be electric only, don’t be. Unlike the all new (J01) MINI Cooper Electric which was build on a bespoke EV platform, the Countryman makes use of the BMW Group’s FAAR platform that has the ability to underpin everything from ICE (internal combustion engine) to hybrid to full EV powertrains. MINI hasn’t yet released official information on the ICE powered models yet but we do know the full model line-up which includes a full assortment of petrol and even a diesel offering. This article will primarily focus on the Countryman Electric but we’ll have a bit more on the full model range later in the article.
How Big Is The U25 MINI Countryman Electric?
MINI has taken feedback from its customers (specifically the American market) seriously. They want more room, more utility and a more aggressive look. The result is a larger Countryman with a noticeable increase in length. The wheelbase is up about an inch while the rear overhang is a full five inches longer. This means slightly more room in the cabin but a noticeable improvement in rear cargo room. The latter will help the Countryman better compete with other crossovers in the category that are often larger.
|R60 Countryman (’10-’16)||F60 Countryman (’17-’23)||U25 Countryman (’24-’32)|
|Length||4097 mm / 161.3 in||4298 mm / 169.2 in||4429 mm / 174.37 in|
|Height||1562 mm / 61.5 in||1557 mm / 61.3 in||1613 mm / 63.5 in|
|Wheelbase||2596 mm / 102.2 in||2670 mm / 105.1 in||2670 mm / 105.11 in|
MINI Countryman Electric:
Range & Performance
The MINI Countryman Electric will be available in two performance levels that look to be a tangible increase in performance over the previous ICE models. While technically a base mode, the MINI Countryman E will have an output of 204 hp and 184 ft lbs of torque – more than even the previous ICE powered Countryman S.
The headlining MINI Countryman SE ALL4 will deliver the most power ever seen in a MINI – 313 hp and staggering 364 ft lbs of torque. That dramatically increases straight-line performance. The F60 ICE powered Countryman All4 S can do 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) in 7.3 seconds. This new 313 hp MINI Countryman SE does the same in only 5.6 seconds – almost a 2 second improvement.
|Countryman E *||Countryman SE|
|WLTP Range – Europe||287.073 miles||269.054 miles|
|EPA Range – United States ESTIMATED||224 miles (EST)||210 miles (EST)|
The MINI Countryman will not only be the most powerful ever but offer the more electric range than we’ve seen from the brand. The base MINI Countryman E will have a WLTP calculated range of 287 miles from its 64 kWh battery. Looking at EPA figures compared to the WLTP we typically see a 22% decrease due solely to testing procedures that are intended to give a more conservative view of range. With that in mind we expect an EPA range of approximately 224 miles for the base Countryman E.
The MINI Countryman SE ALL4 uses the same 64 kWh battery for a WLTP range of 269 miles. Using that same rough math, we’d expect an EPA range of around 210 miles.
Like the new MINI Cooper Electric, the battery of the MINI Countryman can be charged via alternating current with 22 kW. Fast charging with direct current is possible in both all-electric models with 130 kW. This means that just under 30 minutes of charging at a fast charging station is enough to charge the battery from 10 per cent to 80 per cent. Depending on the weather conditions, active navigation (via MINI Navigation) to a fast charging station can ensure the battery reaches the ideal temperature for efficient charging in advance. This can significantly reduce charging time, especially in cold outdoor temperatures.
Driving Dynamics Improved
MINI has also paid attention to the driving dynamics of the new Countryman with an all new damping system and suspension. The results is a gain in steering precision and accuracy while increasing comfort on uneven surfaces.
Engineers have focused on being more holistic in tuning with components from axles, steering and dampers through to ride and stability control systems tuned to work in conjunction with each other to deliver a more cohesive driving experience. There’s also a more direct steering rack ratio of 55 mm of rack travel per turn of the steering wheel.
Like the Cooper, the Countryman has also seen a slightly increased track and longer wheelbase creating sharper turn-in while also increasing stability at speed. As this is all standard. We’ll see even more aggressive tuning on the S and JCW models.
A New Height Adjustable, Adaptive Suspension
The new Countryman has MINI’s first height adjustable suspension allowing drivers to change the performance characteristics easier. The option will not only firm-up the frequency-selective dampers in Sport mode but will lower 15 mm for less body-roll as well. This new options allows the Countryman to adapt to road conditions giving drivers more ability to tailor the driving experience.
Larger Tire and Wheel Sizes
In addition, the 19-inch and 20-inch wheels can be combined with high performance tires to further optimize the vehicle’s handling at the limit. However it’s that’s not your jam, MINI is 17-inch wheels that are aerodynamically optimized to slightly increase the range.
Beyond the larger wheels MINI has also increase tire diameter by 30 mm to a total of 710 mm. This gives the new MINI Countryman Electric a bit more visual presence but perhaps more importantly offers improved driving dynamics and comfort. Additionally the tire width of the optionally available 19-inch and 20-inch rims has been increased by 20 mm to 245 mm in creating more grip at the limit.
MINI Experience Modes – Integrating Software and Hardware to Create a Tailored Driving Experience
The new MINI Cooper Electric and MINI Countryman will be the first models to introduce “MINI Experience Modes,” which are designed to amplify and personalize the connection from driver to car. Standard specification includes the Core, Green and Go-Kart Modes, each of which has its own specific driving experience, user interface and lighting design.
The various MINI Experience Modes can be activated with a flick of the toggle switch “Experiences”. GO-KART mode emphasizes the racing DNA of the MINI Countryman by adjusting the chassis set-up, creating a more dynamic experience. Quicker throttle mapping, more weight in the steering wheel and a specific DSC program all are key to Go-Kart Mode’s driving experience. The driver can further configure the mode with options change the steering response and even the intervention limits of the traction control.
Influenced but MINIs past, the brand has also created a specific GoKart Mode driving sound that features marked pitch and load curves helping to deliver aural feedback. And as you’d expect, this is all configurable.
By contrast, Green Mode optimises the efficiency of the drivetrain, orienting the electric motor towards maximum range based on various parameters. Improved recuperation management in the new MINI Cooper is one of the contributing factors here: this feeds excess energy to the battery when braking or coasting, thereby increasing the vehicle’s range. The driving conditions and their influence on the range can be more easily understood through visualizations in the central display and tips for efficient driving and a power meter increase help connect you to the experience. For example, it’s easy to understand the effect of your driving behavior through gaining “bonus range”.
Sound Design – Adding Feedback Where There is None
MINI going electric and there’s a lot that will be gained by that transition. But there’s also a lot that can be lost. One of those things is the visceral qualities of driving. Acceleration and even steering feel can be retained but gone is the ability to change gears and the overall aural feedback that so often makes driving satisfying. The last part MINI intends to do something about. Enter the MINI Sound Design team and the all new MINI Sound Design for the all new J01 MINI Cooper electric.
The MINI has made the brand and even Experience Mode soundscapes an integral part of the overall driving experience. From all-new driving sounds in the interior to an unmistakable MINI brand sound that aims to confirms the car’s identity from the outside there’s a lot here that’s new.
Particularly well done are the new MINI Experience Modes, and a whole collection of 30 new sound signals with information and warning functions. The overall feeling is one that is both familiar yet futuristic. And that’s not by accident.
The MINI Sound Design team went deep in the MINI product catalog to capture some of those sounds. Specifically the team spent time with an original 1959 Mini and a 2006 JCW GP to capture some of the more iconic sound moments from those two models.
The Design of the U25 MINI Countryman Electric
Design is subjective as evidenced by the wide-ranging feedback of the new MINI Counrtyman Electric when the first photos leaked earlier this year. And we’re not offering opinions here. If you want those you’ll want to read our Hands-On Review we published this morning. But that aside it is worth mentioning our initial reaction as the curtain was lifted for us in Munich recently. As we walked up to the new Countryman we were struck by how cohesive it all felt. You could argue that the first two generations of the Countryman weren’t the best looking MINIs and at times had elements that felt at odds with each other. Some might call that charm (we probably have) but there’s no question this 3rd generation feels like a more mature product from every angle.
As a crossover it also didn’t feel as rugged as many would have liked. It also lacked the utility (and size) of most in its competitive segment. This feedback (much of it from the North American market) led MINI designers to not just increase the size of the Countryman but to rethink aspects of its character.
Like the new MINI Cooper, this new MINI Countryman follows the brand’s new design direction of Charismatic Simplicity and its minimalistic approach to design. But here there’s an edge not seen on the Cooper. Details that reflect the Countryman’s expanded capabilities are everywhere from the pattern on the plastic fenders (yes they’re still here) to the indentations on the lower splitter. MINI Design has added figurative and literal texture as a juxtaposition to the minimalism.
Gone is the side scuttle on the front fenders as MINI as moved that element to the C-pillar – a la the Land Rover Defender. MINI has big plans for that element as its highly visible element for differentiating between different models, equipment options and subsequent editions that are sure to come. The design is also heavily depends on the selected equipment and thus differentiates between the equipment variants.
The car’s sculpted exterior is generally free from any adornment which is great considering how much MINI Design has shaped the metal exterior. Photos don’t do this aspect of the design justice – something we’ll discuss in our Hands-On Review of the car.
Not surprisingly the new MINI Countryman Electric embraces an aerodynamic approach to design. The result is an impressive cd value of 0.26 for the MINI Countryman Electric. That’s substantially down from the 0.31 of the F60 Countryman and even better than the .29 of the new Cooper.
Viewed from the side, the new MINI Countryman has a minimalist appearance but also looks more upright thanks both the increase in size but also due to key the styling. The distinctive design of the C-pillar supports the roofline at the rear of the vehicle while at the same time making it appear shorter. This makes the entire vehicle body look more upright, emphasizing the more rugged character MINI Design was after.
Around back things aren’t nearly as provocative as the new MINI Cooper. Instead we have a rear that’s full of clear surfaces and vertical flush rear lights. Here, the vertical light cluster quotes the classic MINI lights and frames the large central section of the vehicle’s rear. This emphasizes the wider stance of the new MINI Countryman while at the same time giving the body an upright appearance.
The pronounced shoulder section reinforces the powerful appearance of the new
MINI Countryman. The rear tapers off below the model inscription, visually dividing the rear into two sections. The rear apron in the lower area emphasises the solid stance of the vehicle, while the generous surfaces in the upper area make the vehicle look lighter.
Four Individual Trims Offer New Personalization
The U25 MINI Countryman Electric is available in four different trims that effectively package a number of exterior and interior changes in easy to choose packages.
The Essential Trim is standard and features trim in Vibrant Silver. Based on early information Essential will be available with a limited selection of brighter colors such as the new Indigo Sunset Blue. Certain functional parts on the inside and outside are highlighted with the new accent color Vibrant Silver – essentially a matte silver with a hint of champagne
In the Classic Trim, MINI uses a modern 2D knitted textile in the interior of a production vehicle for the first time. On the dashboard and door handles, two-tone black knitted textile provides a contrast to the high-quality synthetic leather seat. Additionally Classic offers the option of Vibrant Silver for the roof matching the contrasting front grille.
Favored Trim is the most expressive option, featuring a two-tone houndstooth pattern on the knitted-textile instrument panel. Available in two colors and with traditional accent stitching, the perforated Vescin sports seats complement in dark and light colors. The exterior with the front grille in Vibrant Silver can be combined with the all-new Spray-Tech roof which features a blending of three different colors.
Similar to BMW’s M Sport trim, MINI will offer a JCW Trim even on non JCWs. The JCW Trim has a distinctive front and year design. The frame of the front grille and the logo in high-gloss black are unique to this trim. Additionally the JCW Trim will offer a Chili Red roof for the first time on a non-JCW car. Finally JCW bonnet stripes will be offered in Chili Red or black.
Inside the JCW Trim offers the sportiest interpretation of the new material concept. Combined with multi-colored knitted textile and black synthetic leather with red stitching, the JCW seat with sports seat geometry echoes the color concept of the dashboard and door trim.
new MINI Countryman Electric Interior
Immersive and minimal, the MINI Countryman Electric has an interior that is a massive departure from what we’ve seen from the brand previously. The new layout does away with the cluster display behind the steering wheel as all relevant content is projected onto circular display and the optional head-up display. This reduction to the essentials opens the interior and creates a much different, more relaxing feel.
Like the new MINI Cooper, the spacious, curved dashboard in Classic, Favored and JCW trim is also made of easy to care for textile surfaces for the first time.
A specially developed knitting process is used to create the versatile, easy-care structure of the textile in two-colour design made of recycled polyester. The entire interior is divided into an upper and lower section along a horizontal line below the new circular display. Above this, all design elements such as the air vents and door handles are vertically aligned, matching the character of the car.
Clear shapes in the cockpit and the increased space in the front seats give the interior a modern, relaxed feel. The driver and front passenger enjoy significantly enhanced comfort in the new MINI Countryman, with almost three centimetres of additional width in the shoulder and elbow area. The shoulder width of the rear seats has also been increased by 2.5 centimeters thanks to a wider track and better use of space.
Massaging Seats – The First Time on a MINI
Not only are they electronically controlled and heated but MINI’s new front seats can be had with an optional massage function. The function has several setting that mimics different massage technique and workouts keeping the driver alert and relaxed on long trips. This is a welcome addition.
Speaking of seats, unlike the MINI Cooper the armrest is not seat mounted. Instead the Countryman has a more traditional armrest that is both wide and adjustable.
Enhanced Utility in the Rear
The rear of the new Countryman offers more space than we’ve ever seen in a MINI. But more impressively there’s more options as well.. The position of the rear row of seats can be adjusted in length by up to 13 centimeters providing more legroom at the rear or additional volume in the luggage compartment. The backrest of the three rear seats is also individually adjustable in six positions by up to 12 degrees. This means that the seat either offers
the option to lean back or positioned upright to allow for more cargo room.
Additionally the rear seats can be folded down increasing the 460-liter trunk to a 1,450-liter luggage compartment. An additional floor compartment provides convenient space for the charging accessories in MINI Countryman Electric or storage in the ICE variants. The optionally available trailer hitch (coming to the US finally) offers an additional plus in practicality. The trailer hitch can be electrically retracted and extended. The towing capacity is up to 2646 LBS or 1,200 kg.
MINI OS9 – A New Digital Experience For All Future MINIs
Unlike the exterior, the interior is where MINI has gone full-on revolution. The circular OLED screen houses a unique yet modern user experience that looks as it could have been designed in California by Apple and not in Munich.
Let’s start with the specs. The circular OLED screen is 9.5” (240 mm) wide however because of the bottom cutout measures about 9” in height. While it may seem like unusual design given the rectangles we’re all used to, it feels very natural in person thanks to the way MINI has organized the information. The “Charismatic Simplicity” design language (as MINI calls it) is focused on both minimalism and a bit of MINI character. The circular OLED display seamlessly accommodates both static and dynamic elements, with a clear and intuitive hierarchy (despite the shape).
The top portion is dedicated to critical driving information which is close to your direct line of sight when looking through the windshield. While we didn’t drive the car we did sit in it for quite awhile and it felt like something we’d get use to within a drive or two. For those opting for the optional Head-up display, vital driving details are projected directly into the driver’s field of view.
At the bottom are three zones. The left and right house the dual climate zones which felt very different than other similar experiences due to micro-animations. The center is what Mac users will likely refer to as the dock. Like a smartphone to allows you to place shortcuts for commonly used apps as well as open the full app view much like the home screen on an iPhone.
The pixel density is so high we couldn’t even see any. But perhaps more important was the responsiveness. While this was a pre-production J01 MINI, the experience was fluid and full of micro-animations that felt immediately more modern than even the latest iDrive system in new BMWs. The experience felt almost at iOS levels of intuitive and the interactions and animations felt natural.
The Optional Navigation Package
Why would you want to pay for navigation if you have it on CarPlay? That was MINI’s challenge when they began creating this navigation experience. Their answer was to create an experience that was faster with just as much data as Google Maps while tying into the car’s technology directly.
When driving, the complete MINI Navigation Package in conjunction with the optional MINI Connected Package provides support in the form of realistic 3D visualizations in complicated turning situations, display of the current traffic situation even without activated route guidance, information on parking options including digital payment options and much more.
Perhaps even more impressive is the optional augmented reality function that helps with turn-by-turn directions. Finally a charge-optimized route can be calculated for the MINI Cooper electric taking into account a detailed assessment of the car’s condition, traffic and even terrain.
In addition, MINI Connected Upgrades allow flexible bookings of additional vehicle functions – simply digital. In conjunction with the optionally available MINI Connected Package, the MINI Connected Store will offer access to an evolving collection of apps, including gaming, music and video streaming. The new AirConsole app provides a unique form of in-car gaming for all passengers, making the smartphone the controller of the game on the OLED display.
The Surprising Tech Behind This New Experience
Built on Android Open Source Project (AOSP), the new MINI OS9 is designed for anyone who known Android to easily build apps for it. Thus it’ll have its own (optional) App Store and the entire OS will be updated over the air quarterly.
Before you ask, yes it will also offer wireless CarPlay and Android Auto. And no, it will not feel like Android in use. AOSP is simply the foundational platform that underpins it all.
This digital experience will spread beyond just the all new J01 MINI Cooper Electric. We will see it in all new MINIs – from the all-new 2024 Countryman to the 2025 Aceman EV to even the heavily refreshed F66 ICE MINI Cooper. It’s also worth a reminder that the car we see here, the all electric J01 MINI Cooper Electric, will be available in Europe, Asia and South America at launch early next year. Plans are underway to bring the J01 in North America as soon as possible. The first product the North American market will get with this new experience will be the U25 MINI Countryman (available as both ICE and EV) followed by the heavily refreshed (ICE) F66 MINI Cooper and Cooper S.
The Redesigned toggle bar
Underneath the dashboard, the MINI designers have gone to great lengths to simplify. One of the key factors here is the newly designed toggle bar. Here, the most important driving functions (parking brake, gear selector, start/stop key, experience mode toggle, volume control) are directly accessible. Its design is individual in accordance with its function.
The Center Rail is Back
With the shifter move to the dash, MINI has a chance to rethink the entire center console. In its place is an open space that allows for movable cupholders and storage bins. Want more cupholders? You can add them just like you can add larger storage units as well. If that sounds familiar it’s because this new system is inspired by the original Countryman’s center rail, this new system allows for an almost infinite number of configurations with MINI’s upcoming accessory plans. But what makes this different than the rail system is that it’s functional storage with no accessories at all.
MINI’s First Autonomous Driving System
The front end of the all-electric MINI Countryman is defined by a new octagonal front grille full of sensors. But it’s a particularly small radar sensor is integrated flush into its surface is key to unlocking MINI’s first ever Level 2 Autonomous Driving system.
The U25 MINI Countryman is the first vehicle with Level 2 assistance systems that enable semi-automated driving. While information is still limited this should correspond with the same system offered in the BMW X1 which allows the car to stop, go and even follow clearly marked roads. Intended for stop and go traffic or highway use, it’s a great system for lessening the cognitive load on long trips.
MINI LED headlights with Signature Modes
The daytime running light elements of the LED lights support this striking look with fresh radiance due to unique light signatures. Optionally, the daytime running light elements can be switched to create three light signatures in the front and rear LED lights, thereby reinforcing the distinctive character of each vehicle. In addition, all light modes start and end with a specially orchestrated welcome and goodbye animation. This interaction with the vehicle increases the anticipation of the MINI even before you set off.
A Focus on Recycled Materials and Sustainability.
The new MINI Countryman combines emission-free electric mobility with the highest possible level of environmental compatibility in production. This includes eliminating all chrome decorative elements in the exterior and interior as well as manufacturing the light alloy cast wheels from up to 70% secondary aluminum. In combination with the fact that green electricity is used for production, MINI has dramatically reduced CO2 emissions compared to conventional manufacturing processes. In addition, no rare earths are needed for the production of the electric motors.
The surfaces, the inside of the doors and the vehicle floor and floor mats are all made of recycled polyester. This high-quality, colourful and comfortable alternative to traditional materials significantly reduces CO2 emissions along the value chain and uses less water in production than cotton.
ICE Countryman To Get a Power Boost
The ICE powered Countryman are also getting a power upgrade. We expect MINI to use the 1.5 three cylinder B38 engine in the base model with a 155 hp output. The Countryman S will carry on with the B48 but will be tuned to a full 200 hp. Finally the JCW Countryman should see the revised B48 from the just announced BMW X1 M35i making 312 hp and 295 lb-ft. We’ll have much more information on the ICE line-up the coming days.
The Full Countryman Range – Pricing and Availability
As we mentioned above the new MINI Countryman is based on a platform that can accommodate not only electric but also petrol and diesel powertrains. That will make the Countryman the most versatile product in the MINI family with eight variants and three distinctly different powertrain options.
|The New MINI Family||Drivetrain||Pricing||Start of Production|
|J01 MINI Cooper E||Electric||32,900€||11/2023|
|J01 MINI Cooper SE||Electric||36,900€||11/2023|
|U25 MINI Countryman C||ICE (Petrol)||39.900€||11/2023|
|U25 MINI Countryman D||ICE (Diesel)||42.900€||11/2023|
|U25 MINI Countryman E||Electric||43.500€||03/2024|
|U25 MINI Countryman S ALL4||ICE (Petrol)||45.900€||11/2023*|
|U25 MINI Countryman SE ALL4||Electric||49.500€||03/2024*|
|U25 MINI John Cooper Works Countryman ALL4||ICE (Petrol)||56.500€||03/2024*|
|F66 MINI Cooper||ICE (Petrol)||TBD||07/2024*|
|F66 MINI Cooper S||ICE (Petrol)||TBD||07/2024*|
|F66 MINI Cooper JCW||ICE (Petrol)||TBD||11/2024*|
|F65 MINI Cooper 5 Door||ICE (Petrol)||TBD||07/2024*|
|F65 MINI Cooper S 5 Door||ICE (Petrol)||TBD||07/2024*|
|F67 MINI Cooper Convertible||ICE (Petrol)||TBD||TBD*|
|F67 MINI Cooper S Convertible||ICE (Petrol)||TBD||TBD*|
|J05 MINI Aceman||Electric||TBD||TBD|
|J05 MINI Aceman S||Electric||TBD||TBD|
This is Just the Start – An Entire New MINI Family is Coming
The new J01 MINI Cooper electric and U25 MINI Countryman (electric) will publicly debut at the Munich Motor Show next week. That will be followed by the internal combustion U25 Countryman which will be shown later this year. Then we’ll see the heavily revised F56 morph into the F66 internal combustion MINI Cooper. This will be MINI’s answer to all those who want a Cooper but aren’t ready for electric. Finally we’ll see the all electric MINI Aceman crossover which effectively takes the place of the beloved MINI Clubman. The Aceman will be a small crossover roughly the size of the original MINI Countryman and will be released late next year.
For more coverage of the new generation MINI, check out the following articles and videos.
MINI Cooper EV: Premier | MINI Cooper EV: Hands-On Review | MINI Cooper EV: Video Review
MINI Countryman EV: Premier | MINI Countryman EV: Hands-On Review | MINI Countryman EV: Video Review
New MINI Family: 1st Look Video | MINI Circular Display & MINI OS9 Hands-On Review