MINI Countryman plug-in revealed?

The crossover will have a 24-mile electric range.

A set of leaked images has confirmed that MINI is working on a plug-in hybrid variant of the next-generation Countryman.

Dubbed Countryman E, the plug-in will be capable of driving on electricity alone for about 24 miles at speeds of up to 50 mph. Zero-emissions power will be provided by a compact, 88-horsepower electric motor mounted over the rear axle, and a 7.7-kilowatt lithium-ion battery pack. When electricity runs out, the crossover will rely on MINI's ubiquitous turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine.

The Countryman E will be capable of hitting 62 mph from a stop in about 6.5 seconds with both power sources up and running. Fuel economy figures haven't been published yet, and they'll like vary from market to market.

The images also give us a better idea of what the next-gen Countryman will look like. It's clear that MINI asked its designers for an evolutionary look, though website MotoringFile reports that the crossover will be taller than the current model and longer than the new Clubman, the biggest member of the company's lineup.

The next-gen MINI Countryman will make its official debut this summer, and it will go on sale early next year as a 2018 model. The E model will be joined by non-hybrid variants powered by three- and four-cylinder engines, and a John Cooper Works-badged model will round out the lineup a few years into the production run.

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