Mini, a subsidiary of BMW is yet to set foot in India, however a recent news saying that this brand would most likely come down to India by 2012 is aflutter in the Indian automotive scene. Mini was launched as BMW’s sub brand in 2001. We Indians love small cars and it is quite evident by the sales of the hatchback segment over those of the sedan ones. Also it would be more of a brand building exercise rather than the big fat sales numbers and cash in BMW’s coffers. The most legible product which would make its way to India first would most probably the Mini Countryman and we have got a brief preview of it. The Mini Countryman in India makes more sense since internationally, it has been recently revamped with an all new look. Here is a quick look into how the Countryman should fare.
The first Swift in India and Mini cars look the same. It is 4.1 meters in length and cuts a pretty figure with all the 4 wheels at the 4 corners of the body. A mix of both rounded as also upright stance is what makes the Mini Countryman. The head lamps look like they have been borrowed from the likes of Bentley Continental cars. Why even the Mini logo looks the same as that of Bentley. The Nissan Micra like front end looks wicked on this car though. Infact the size of the Yeti and the Mini would seem too much similar. The Mini comes with 16 inch wheels and also blacked out pillars. At the rear, the tail lamps are vertically stacked and are more leaning towards the sides of the car. Twin tail pipes would be a new thing for a hatchback.
The interiors have an all circular theme done in greige. As with any BMW product, even this one is pretty much high standards. There are leather seats, navigation system, sunroof, advanced stereo system with head unit output in DVD quality and stuff. Moreover the level of customization wherein the customer can opt for it in both 4 seat as also 5 seat configuration is awesome. Almost all the materials used inside the cabin have a high glossy thing going for them. Space would be at premium here with the car boasting of small footprints and BMW being no good in maximizing the space quotient in their cars. The boot space would also be just about sufficient in putting up two suitcases.
BMW has plans to put in 4 wheel drive for this hatchback. In the international markets, this car comes in with 4 wheel drive with a rear wheel drive bias. Also, internationally, this car comes with a very hard suspension and hence doesn’t have a supple ride quality. If the same suspension makes it to India, then this has got to be the worst car as far as ride quality goes. Even for the silky smooth roads of Germany, it is said that small bumps deflect the car from its path and due to this same reason, the handling is also lost. If it’s an ultra smooth road, the Mini would corner like no other hatchback.
BMW has put in a choice of 4 engines. Two petrol and two diesel in the Mini Countryman. The 1.6 liter diesel engine has got 90 Bhp on tap while with the same displacement, the petrol one makes 122 Bhp. The 2 liter diesel engine makes 143 Bhp while there is also a range topping 2.0 liter petrol which makes close to 220 Bhp of power. Transmission option includes the likes of both auto and manual as well. All these cars come with BMW’s EfficientDynamics package and would have an awesome mix of both performance and fuel efficiency. The diesel are said to be very torquey and have been geared to be on the higher side, in the interests of fuel economy.
It is said that the Mini Countryman in India would be a reality by the later end of 2012. It will tick all the right boxes for the well heeled ones. The only trick is that BMW should price this car correctly. The Mini Countryman price in India should start from Rs 21 lakhs. At this price point, its only competitors would be the VW Beetle and the Fiat 500, both of which are under equipped for the price and only have a choice of one engine. As and when more details of the same pour in, we would let you know.