BMW Group Malaysia has announced that it will begin exporting the F60 MINI Countryman to Thailand, an initiative sparked by the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) which promotes intra-ASEAN trade. Because of this, prices for the Countryman have dropped by up to THB 460,000 (RM57k), according to the Bangkok Post.

Now, the Countryman SUV will be offered in two variants, namely the Cooper S Countryman and Cooper S Countryman Hightrim. Both models are assembled at the Kulim plant in Kedah. The entry-level Cooper S Countryman retails for THB 2,299,000 (RM259,557) including Value Added Tax (VAT) – that’s about RM27k dearer than the Cooper S Countryman Sports on sale in Malaysia, but of course the current pricing is based on zero-rated GST.

Specifications-wise, it gets features such as LED headlights with LED DRLs, LED fog lamps, dual-tone exterior paint and 18-inch Pair Spoke alloy wheels. Inside, there’s piano black trimmings to go with the leather Cross Punch Carbon Black sports seats, as well as a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment display with MINI Connected (smartphone pairing function).

Next, the Cooper S Countryman Hightrim, which is priced at THB 2,499,000 (RM282,137), gets the Chrome Line pack (as seen on the grille surrounds) and adds on a reverse camera and electrochromic rear-view mirror. Parking Assist is standard on both models, however the Hightrim gets additional kit such as bigger 19-inch Edged Spoke alloys, coloured head-up display, larger 8.8-inch touchscreen head unit and Harman Kardon HiFi sound system. It’s also decked with MINI Yours Piano Black Illuminated – which adds colourful interior ambient lighting – and MINI Connected.

Both models share the same 2.0 litre four-cylinder petrol engine with MINI TwinPower Turbo technology, developing 192 hp and 280 Nm of torque that peaks from 1,350 rpm to 4,600 rpm. Power is sent to the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission, which helps propel it from nought to 100 km/h in 7.4 seconds before maxing out at 224 km/h.

The export excludes the Cooper S E Countryman All4, which is a locally-assembled plug-in hybrid model that utilises a detuned version of the BMW i8‘s powertrain. Main propulsion comes from a 1.5 litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine (134 hp and 220 Nm) that’s combined with a 87 hp/165 Nm electric motor to produce a total system output of 221 hp and 385 Nm. The century sprint is done in 6.8 seconds.

BMW Group Malaysia’s managing director and CEO, Harald Hoelzl said “the Inokom plant in Kulim, Kedah, which is a partnership between Sime Darby Berhad and BMW Group Malaysia, are among 30 production sites in 14 countries around the world for the BMW Group and is an important touch point for us in the South East Asian region.”

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