MINI’s first-ever plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model has officially arrived in Malaysia with the launch of the locally-assembled (CKD) F60 MINI Cooper S E Countryman All4. The PHEV retails at RM255,888 on-the-road without insurance, and joins the new Cooper S Countryman Sports and existing John Cooper Works model.

Under the bonnet is a 1.5 litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine with 134 hp and 220 Nm of torque, which sends drive to the front wheels via a six-speed Steptronic automatic transmission. The electrification and all-wheel drive aspect comes courtesy of a rear-mounted electric motor (87 hp and 165 Nm) that works with a two-stage single-speed transmission and a 7.6 kWh battery positioned just in front of said motor.

Overall system output is rated at 221 hp (224 PS) and 385 Nm, making the PHEV the torquiest version of the Countryman you can buy today. Performance-wise, the zero to 100 km/h sprint is dispatched in just 6.8 seconds, making it quicker than the Cooper S (7.4 seconds) and just three tenths away from the JCW (6.5 seconds). However, the PHEV’s top speed is 198 km/h, while other models hit or exceed 200 km/h.

The powertrain is essentially a detuned version of the BMW i8’s, and offers three different modes (Auto eDrive, Max eDrive and Save Battery) for the driver to choose from using the eDrive switch beside the now-yellow starter button. In Auto eDrive, the car will run on electricity alone at speeds of up to 80 km/h, but only if the battery has a charge state of between 100% and 7%. Beyond those parameters, and when maximum drive output is required, the three-pot will kick into action.

In Max eDrive, driving speeds of up to 125 km/h on pure electricity alone are possible as long as there is enough charge left in the battery. Finally, Save Battery mode preserves the state of charge at around 90% of higher for use later. In this mode, the petrol engine handles both recharging (if needed) and propulsion duties.

The upshot of all this is a claimed average fuel consumption of just 2.1 l/100 km, and the battery allows for an all-electric driving range of up to 42 km. Discounting the petrol engine, recharging the battery takes about five hours if you plug the car into a household power socket with a home charging cable, but with a public charging facility (3.7 kW AC charger), that time is shortened to just three hours and 15 minutes.

Distinguishing the Countryman PHEV from the rest of the pack are distinct cues on both the exterior and interior. In the case of the former, you’ll find the ‘S’ letterings on the grille and rear ‘Cooper S’ badge are painted yellow. If that isn’t a clear enough giveaway, the side scuttles prominently show the MINI Electric logo – the one on the left hides the charging port.

Like the Cooper S Countryman, the PHEV comes fitted with the All4 exterior styling kit, which comes with black high-gloss bumper elements, silver skid plates and roof rails with silver side sills. Also part of the get-up are a set of 19-inch MINI Yours Masterpiece wheels.

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A number of colour combinations involving the body and roof are available too, where cars with a black roof can be ordered in either Chili Red, British Racing Green, Thunder Grey, Light White, or Melting Silver with a black roof. Those who prefer a white roof can only have the body in Island Blue.

Moving inside, you’ll first be greeted by a MINI Yours ‘Walknappa’ leather steering wheel with aluminium-coloured contrast stitching. Elsewhere, there is the MINI Yours Piano Black Illuminated interior surfacing on the dashboard. It is controlled via the car’s infotainment system, and is part of the MINI Yours Illuminated Cockpit that is supplemented by an LED ring around it.

Infotainment is handled via the Radio MINI Navigation system (includes the MINI Excitement package), which is linked to a 6.5-inch touchscreen. Other items include dual-zone climate control (with rear vents), Cross Punch leather upholstery in Carbon Black, Chrome Line interior pack, Keyless Go, powered driver seat with memory function, LED headlamps, MINI Driving Modes, Park Assist, powered tailgate, Picnic Bench and Comfort Access with Easy Opener.

Unlike the other Countryman models, the PHEV does not feature sliding second-row seats (they still recline) due to the placement of the electric motor and battery. On a related note, boot space is now 405 litres (-45 litres compared to non-PHEV models), and 1,275 litres with the rear seats instead of 1,390 litres.

As mentioned at the start, the Countryman PHEV is priced at RM255,888, placing it between the new (also CKD) Cooper S Countryman Sports (RM245,888) and fully-imported (CBU) JCW (RM348,888) models. Included with each purchase is a four-year, unlimited-mileage warranty, four-year/60,000 km free service package and MINI Malaysia’s 5 Years Roadside Assistance programme. The battery is covered by a six-year/100,000 km warranty as well.

Customers who do buy into MINI plug-in hybrid ownership will also be offered the ChargeNow package that bundles the MINI Public Charging Cables with a free one-year subscription to unlimited charging at all 270 ChargeEV stations across Malaysia.

If you’re wondering what it’s like to drive around in a plug-in hybrid Countryman, we’ve already had a go in one while in Portugal, and you can read all about it here. For detailed specifications of the newly-launched MINI Cooper S E Countryman All4 and other Countryman models, head on over to CarBase.my.

GALLERY: F60 MINI Cooper S E Countryman All4 review