The Mini Cooper S E Hybrid is the latest version of the biggest-ever Mini, the five-door Countryman. The Frenchman who is head of Mini product in the UK, Nicolas Griebner, tells GRR it is the first car in its class to combine efficiency with real performance. So as well as your (official) 134mpg you get Cooper S-level acceleration.
Demonstrating its high-spiritedness in the First Glance category over the FOS weekend is Charlie Butler-Henderson – but he will also be switching to pure electric mode for some of his run to demonstrate the new car’s silence.
The Hybrid has a 1.5-litre three-cylinder Cooper engine driving the front wheels and an 88bhp electric motor in the back. Combined power is 225bhp. You can drive it in pure electric mode – making it the world’s first rear-drive Mini! – for up to 25 miles at speeds up to 75mph.
“Our new baby really offers the best of both worlds, efficiency and performance, with no range worries,” says Nicolas. “You don’t even have to plug it in if you don’t want to.”