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Mini to release plug-in hybrid

The next generation Mini utility vehicle will be the brand’s first model to offer a plug-in hybrid powertrain, according to Green Car Reports.

Mini was not very specific on details but noted that an electric motor is used to power the rear wheels, while the internal combustion engine powers the front wheels. It means this model will have a ‘through-the-road’ all wheel drive system, which leads us to believe the model might be the Countryman crossover.

As with other BMW Group plug-in hybrids, the Mini model will have multiple driving modes that use electric power to varying degrees:screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-10-28-43-am

  • Default mode: ‘Auto eDrive’ allows electric only operation at speeds up to 80kph;
  • ‘Max eDrive’ raises the electric only top speed to 125kph;
  • ‘Save Battery’ mode allows the driver to hold the battery pack at a given state of charge for later electric driving.

Mini’s powertrain is connected to the stability control system and will activate both internal combustion engine and electric motor to get power flowing to all wheels if they are too slippery.

BMW executives also confirmed that an all-electric Mini would be launched around 3 years from now.

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