2018 Mini Countryman production begins at Chennai plant
BMW Group announced that the first India-made 2018 Mini Countryman has rolled off the production line at its plant in Chennai, Tamil Nadu today. BMW Group had launched the new Mini Countryman in India at the beginning of the month at a price of Rs 34.9 lakh (ex-showroom). Based on a new platform, the Countryman has grown larger in size - 200mm longer and 30mm wider to be precise. The wheelbase has been extended too, by 75mm. BMW Mini is quick to point out though, that despite the increase in size, the Countryman still maintains its trademark proportions.
Dr Jochen Stallkamp, MD, BMW Group Plant Chennai with the all-new Mini Countryman
The second-generation Mini Countryman had debuted at the 2016 LA Auto Show but made its first Indian appearance only at the 2018 Auto Expo earlier this year. Nevertheless, the 2018 Countryman is finally here. The second-gen model identifies itself with a revised oval shape for the headlamps, a ring of LED lighting for the daytime running lights, new detailing for the vertical taillights and two new exterior shades - Island Blue and Chestnut Brown.
Taller roof rails, redesigned cladding and an increased ground clearance, beef up the Countryman's rugged appearance and highlight its intent of driving off the tarmac too. To that effect, the Mini Countryman gets all-wheel drive capability that Mini calls ALL4. The Countryman is predominately is a front-wheel-drive car like the new BMW X1 that it shares its UKL2 platform with, but it can also power the rear wheels when the terrain is slippery.
The Countryman is available in two variants, the Cooper S and Cooper SD. Both engines come standard with an 8-speed steptronic transmission. A high-performance JCW variant with uprated power and sportier styling will launch in some time. The Mini Countryman's natural rivals in India are the Volkswagen Beetle and its own stablemates like the Cooper Hatch and the Clubman, but it's pricing and intent also pips it against cars like the BMW X1, the Mercedes-Benz GLA, the Audi Q3 and the soon to be launched Volvo XC40.
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