Interestingly, the US-spec Countryman S receives more power and torque than models sold elsewhere.
It's been over two months since the new Mini Countryman broke cover with an available electric drivetrain. The high-performance JCW followed shortly after, and now it's the turn of the warmed-up Countryman S, which arrives with significantly better performance, standard all-wheel drive, and more power than before.
Like the outgoing model, the latest Countryman S employs a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It produces 241 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, the latter of which matches the brawnier JCW model. For reference, the predecessor had just 189 hp and 206 lb-ft on tap.
The Countryman S benefits from a new 48-volt mild-hybrid system that improves performance and efficiency. While US-spec models have a hearty 241 hp living under the hood, models sold in other regions make do with just 215 hp and 266 lb-ft.
Whereas the old Countryman S was available with front- or all-wheel drive, the latest model sends its power to all four wheels as standard.
The latest Countryman is the biggest Mini ever, but the BMW-owned brand has tried its best to retain the go-kart-like feeling. There's a McPherson strut front axle and a multi-like rear axle, which makes the vehicle feel its cornering on rails. Buyers can optionally select for an adaptive chassis with frequency-selective dampers and suspension that is 0.6-inches lower.
Despite the bulkier dimensions, the Countryman S slips through the air cleanly, with a drag coefficient of 0.26 - a record in the segment, according to the manufacturer. This also contributes to increased gas mileage. One of the accompanying images show the Countryman parked next to a BMW X7, underscoring just how much the Mini has grown over the years.
The size increase pays dividends on the inside, where passenger and cargo space have increased. With 15.9 cu ft of trunk space, the Countryman S should have enough room for a grocery run or impromptu weekend away. Need to transport bigger items? The 40:20:40 split-folding rear bench neatly collapses, revealing 51.2 cu ft of cargo room.
Inside, the Countryman S ALL4 combines premium textiles and materials, while a glass roof lets natural light shine into the cabin. Mini Experience Modes are also part of the package, allowing customers to customize the vehicle atmosphere with personalized settings and sounds. A 9.4-inch touchscreen operates several functions and uses the latest Operating System 9.
Expect the new Countryman S to arrive at US dealers in May 2024, carrying a price tag of $38,900. Production is slated to begin in March 2024.
Pricing excludes the $995 destination and handling fee.