Tuesday, March 29, 2011

VIDEO: Launch of Mini Countryman

MINI Cooper Countryman RM 248, 888 
MINI Cooper S Countryman         RM 285, 888 

As you can see from the photo above the Mini Countryman was launched at the Kuala Lumpur train station, at platform four.

Platform four was chosen to reflect the All4 concept of the Countryman, ie it has four doors and four-wheel drive.

Video of the launch, more details and full Press release after the jump

This is the biggest Mini so far and reminds us of the original wagon that was converted into everything from delivery can to shooting brakes, well in the sense that they were used to go hunting.

With the size comes the interior space but since the new Mini is not a class leader in terms of packaging and space, don't expect to find a cavernous interior, just enough space for four people.

To be fair, the four people who can fit into the Countryman in relative comfort will travel in style.

The usual Mini trappings like huge central dials, toggle switches on the centre console, large headlamps, broad shoulders, high window line, hexagonal grille and vertical tail lamps are all intact.

The car comes in a wide range of colours and many customisation possibilities and most of them can be specified at birth so it could be fitted as original equipment by Mini.

Acording to BMW Malaysia MD, Geoff Briscoe they are planning another Mini announcement late in the year.


BMW Group Malaysia Welcomes the New MINI Countryman

First ever MINI to feature four doors, five-person seating layout and Four Wheel Drive (4WD) introduced in Malaysia.

Kuala Lumpur, 24th March 2011 – BMW Group Malaysia today introduced the brand new MINI Countryman, completing the range of MINI vehicles available in Malaysia. As the fourth variant in its model family, the eagerly-anticipated MINI Countryman represents a series of firsts for the iconic MINI name.

The MINI Countryman is the first MINI to feature four doors, a versatile interior layout offering space for five people and a large tailgate offering access to more than double the storage space of previous MINI vehicles. Whilst the MINI Countryman may sound like a more ‘grown-up’ version of the MINI, it has lost none of the trademark, go-kart drive feel of the MINI, even taking it a step further with the MINI ALL4 all-wheel-drive system available with the MINI Cooper S Countryman. All in, the MINI Countryman expresses the defining virtues of the brand in terms of design, premium quality, performance and scope for customisation – all traditions of this premium marque.

Introducing the new MINI Countryman, Geoffrey Briscoe, Managing Director of BMW Group Malaysia said, “From the start, the MINI name has always been synonymous with excitement, cheekiness and performance; characteristics that are in abundance with the new MINI Countryman that we are introducing today. The MINI Countryman represents everything that is great about the MINI and magnifies it. It is all about the 4 – 4th Family Member, 4 Doors, 4 Wheel Drive and built larger than 4 Metres in size!”

Briscoe further added that the MINI brand continues to be a successful and growing brand for BMW Group Malaysia, saying “In 2010, BMW Group Malaysia sold a total of 222 MINI’s, a growth of 3.7 percent compared to the preceding year and with todays launch of the new MINI Countryman, we are looking forward to continuing MINI’s success in Malaysia.”

As the world’s first maker of the premium iconic car, MINI broke new ground when the brand was re-introduced in 2001 by the BMW Group. Built around a strategy of combining advanced vehicle and chassis technology, uncompromising “Go-Kart” drive quality and an inimitable style, MINI quickly earned a special niche in car markets the world over.

“The MINI Countryman represents an assured evolution of the brand’s design language, bridging the gap between the classic MINI concept and a future projection of its capabilities. Even with larger body dimensions, increased ground clearance and four doors, the MINI Countryman is still unmistakeably a MINI.” said Farid Sulaiman, MINI Manager at BMW Group Malaysia.

Available in the Malaysian market from March 24 onwards, the MINI Countryman will be made available in two 1.6 litre engine variants; the MINI Cooper Countryman and the MINI Cooper S Countryman.
Originally introduced for MINI in mid-2010, the 1.6-litre four-cylinder unit also boast a host of technical features, enabling the optimal combination of performance and fuel efficiency. The MINI Cooper Countryman’s drivetrain develops 90kW/122 hp, enabling the car to hit the 0 to 100 km/h mark in 11.6 seconds with an average fuel consumption of 7.6 litres per 100km and a CO2 emission rating of 177 grams per km. The MINI Cooper S Countryman, meanwhile, sees the addition of a twin-scroll turbocharger and direct injection complemented by fully variable valve management to the 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine,  with 135kW/184 hp, enabling the car to hit the 0 to 100 km/h mark in 8.3 seconds, offering by far the best balance between output and fuel consumption in its displacement class.

The result is a new, traction-led expression of the agile handling for which MINI is famed. This ability is underpinned by sophisticated new suspension technology, which includes a front axle with MacPherson spring struts and forged track control arms, multi-link rear suspension and the electromechanical power steering system EPS. The MINI Countryman comes as standard with the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system, while Dynamic Traction Control will be a standard feature only on the MINI Cooper S Countryman and includes electronic locking function for the front axle differential.

The MINI ALL4 all-wheel drive, which comes standard on the MINI Cooper S Countryman allows the driving fun you expect from the brand to be experienced off the beaten track as well. The permanent all-wheel-drive system’s quick and precise responses to changing conditions provide a new, traction-led expression of the handling talents for which MINI is famed. Here, an electromagnetic centre differential positioned directly on the final drive varies the distribution of power seamlessly between the front and rear axles. In normal driving conditions up to 50 per cent of the drive is sent to the rear wheels, with as much as 100 per cent being channeled during extreme situations.

Externally, the MINI Countryman provides a familiar interpretation of classic MINI features, such as the roof line, hexagonal radiator grille, large headlights set into the bonnet, side indicator surrounds, capacious wheel arches and vertical rear light clusters. Using the MINI design language as a starting point, the MINI Countryman then showcases its own individualism with its individual design language. Large glass surfaces and distinctive contours of the roof provide an expansive visual cue of the MINI Countryman’s increase in interior space and four-door layout.

The extra-wide border around the lower part of the body and powerfully bolstered wheel arches are a nod to the robustness of the vehicle and its all-wheel drive capabilities. In wheel offering, the MINI Cooper Countryman features 17 inch light alloy wheels with 5-Star Double Spoke whilst the MINI Cooper S Countryman offers 18 inch light alloy wheels in anthracite and with Turbo Fan design.

The MINI Countryman comes as standard as a five seater with ample space to ensure comfort over long journeys with generous legroom, headroom and shoulder room. The rear seats can be moved forwards and backwards individually in a 60 : 40 split, and the backrests can be folded down either individually in a 40 : 20 : 40 split, all of which allows luggage capacity to be increased from 350 litres to a maximum of 1,170 litres.

The interior of the MINI Countryman also boasts a selection of new design and functional elements. The slightly raised seating position allows easy entry, optimises the driver’s view over the road and reinforces the powerful character of the new model. The Centre Speedometre and air vents are bordered by chrome lining. The unique MINI Centre Rail, meanwhile, runs lengthwise through the middle of the interior in place of a conventional centre console and opens up new ways of integrating storage spaces and accessories just as you want them.

A newly configured range of exterior colours featuring eleven new exterior colour options in the form of Pure Red, Bright Yellow, Surf Blue, Light Coffee, Light White, Absolute Black, Cosmic Blue, Oxford Green, Crystal Silver, Royal Grey and True Blue now extends the MINI colour palate. Meanwhile inside, upholstery materials in cloth leather in Parallel Lines of Carbon Black with choices of Pure Red or Light Tobacco, allows for a particularly harmonious combination with the interior Carbon Black Colour Line. Automatic air conditioning and an audio system with CD player are all fitted as standard, while the model-specific array of optional equipment packages available for the MINI Countryman includes the glass roof package and MINI Connected package

The glass roof package offers one touch operation and convenient opening of a panoramic glass roof through radio-remote control key. The package can be obtained for an additional RM 9, 988.

On the other hand, the MINI Connected package is a suite of technology features that opens the door to a globally unique form of in-car entertainment, utilising technology specifically developed to integrate the telecommunications, entertainment and online functions of an iPhone into the MINI, using a cable supplied with MINI Connected for the USB socket or via a snap-in adapter.

Functions of MINI Connected introduced include the world’s first web radio function to allow users to pick up their preferred radio stations from around the world regardless of their locations, user-definable RSS news feeds and much more. Also included in the MINI Connected package is a Harmon Kardon HiFi loudspeaker system (480W/ 10 speakers) and Radio MINI Visual Boost with a 6.5 inches high-resolution colour LCD screen. The MINI Connected package retails at RM 14, 988.

The retail prices (on the road for personal registration, without insurance, with the MINI Tender Loving Care service package) for the new MINI Cooper Countryman and MINI Cooper S Countryman are as follows: -

MINI Cooper Countryman - RM 248, 888
MINI Cooper S Countryman - RM 285, 888

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