New four-wheel drive Mini

  • Four-wheel drive Mini to launch in September
  • First Mini with four passenger doors
  • Closer in size to VW Golf than Mini hatchback

Mini will launch a new four-wheel drive model called Countryman in September, which will be the largest Mini to date as will as the first with four passenger doors.

Expected to share many of its engines with the current Mini range, the Countryman will also benefit from the fuel-saving kit fitted to other models such as regenerative braking and automatic stop-and-start.

The Countryman should offer decent space for four adult passengers, and boot space of 350 litres is on a par with cars such as the Volkswagen Golf.

The standard version of the car has two individual rear seats with a centre console funning the full length of the car, but customers can also specify a rear bench seat at no extra cost.

The car is expected to feel almost as responsive as other Minis to drive. The entry-level model comes with a 90bhp diesel engine while the top-of-the range version will feature a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine with more than 180bhp.

Prices are expected to start at about £17,000 and more information on technical specifications and equipment will be released close to the car's launch.