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BMW Malaysia has announced the arrival of the locally-assembled MINI Countryman – the car is the first MINI to be locally-assembled in Malaysia and, indeed, in ASEAN. The first examples have begun rolling out from the BMW Malaysia Assembly Facilities in Kulim, Kedah.

The Countryman, which is the fifth model to join BMW Malaysia’s locally-assembled model range, is available in both Cooper Countryman and Cooper S Countryman ALL4 forms. The mechanicals continue as is from the CBU versions, the N16B16M0 1.6 litre Prince engine powering both models, and like before, the two variants differ in output.

In the Cooper Countryman the normally-aspirated unit offers 120 hp at 6,000 rpm and 160 Nm at 4,250 rpm, mated to an AW 260K six-speed auto transmission. Performance numbers include a 182 km/h top speed and a 0-100 km/h time of 11.6 seconds.

The Cooper S Countryman’s mill gains a twin-scroll turbocharger, direct injection and BMW’s Valvetronic variable valve management, and for output has 184 hp at 5,500 rpm and 240 Nm from 1,600-5,000 rpm, with 260 Nm on overboost. The same six-speed gearbox features, though with different ratios on 1st and 4th-6th gears compared to the Cooper. Performance numbers include a 0-100 km/h time of 8.3 seconds and a 205 km/h top speed.

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In terms of wheels, the Cooper Countryman wears 17-inch 5-Star double spoke units, while the Cooper Countryman S is shod with 18-inch Turbo Fan design alloys, the same wheels as worn by the CBU units. And like the imported car, eleven exterior colour options abound, including Light White, Absolute Black, Crystal Silver, Royal Grey, True Blue, Blazing Red, Brilliant Copper. Interior upholstery is dressed up in a Leather Gravity Carbon Black scheme.

An interesting piece of trivia – the MINI Paceman has thus far been the only member of the family to be identified by a rear nameplate. Not anymore, because the locally-assembled Countryman features moniker badging on its rear.

As for pricing, the locally-assembled MINI Cooper Countryman goes for RM218,888, while the Cooper S Countryman ALL4 is priced at RM258,888, on-the-road without insurance, with the MINI Tender Loving Care service package.

When it was launched in March 2011, the Cooper Countryman was priced at RM248,888, and the Cooper S Countryman, RM285,888, so the local-assembly route has brought about a RM30k reduction in the case of the Cooper, and RM27k for the Cooper S variant. It’s also RM10k less than the 2WD Cooper S variant, which arrived last October, priced at RM268,888.