Mini Countryman Panamericana Plug-In Hybrid Begins 16,000-Mile Road Trip


A long-distance adventure from North America to the southernmost tip of South America.

Along with the earlier reveal of an all-electric version of the classic Mini, the BMW-owned, Britain-based automaker has yet another reveal of sorts at the New York Auto Show. The Mini Countryman Panamericana Plug-In Hybrid, more precisely three of them, has been tasked with an epic, 16,000-mile long-distance tour from North America to Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost tip of South America. The journey is expected to get underway shortly.

Fitted with “additional headlights, tires with emergency running characteristics and a roof rack containing a spare wheel” (all essentials for epic road trips), the vehicles are based on the Cooper SE Countryman All4. However, they are powered by electric and gasoline motors for a combined output of 224 hp, with power directed to the front and rear wheels thanks to its intelligent all-wheel drive system. The route will be, of course, the Panamericana, aka the Pan-American Highway. It connects Alaska to with the Argentinian Tierra del Fuego. The journey won’t be limited to land, however.

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The border area between Panama and Colombia requires ship passage of about 56 miles due to a need to protect a certain area of rainforest. Drivers will experience a variety of climates and terrains, including jungles and high mountain passes. Some highways are well developed, while other so-called roads are little more than gravel and other narrow mountain passes. Diverse weather conditions are a sure thing. Mini says it’ll be documenting the journey on its Mini News Instagram channel. The reason Mini is doing this somewhat dangerous feat is to highlight electro mobility capabilities in some of the world’s harshest and most grueling terrains.

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