New Model News

Redesigned 2021 MINI Cooper Countryman features a refined exterior, additional exterior options

The car rides on new alloy wheels.

Photo courtesy of MINI

MINI has given the Cooper Countryman a facelift for the 2021 model year refining the subcompact crossover's space, functionality, and ride comfort. The model will be available later this year.

In the US, the MINI Cooper Countryman remains one of the brand's most popular models, accounting for close to 40 percent of all MINIs sold in 2019.

The car gets a new grille with a chrome frame and standard LED headlights and fog lights up front, newly designed front and rear bumper coverings, now entirely in body finish, lend a more refined appearance. The radiator grill of the MINI Cooper S Countryman has a bold hexagonal grid pattern with a red "S" and a single chrome strut.

2021 MINI Cooper Countryman MINI has given the model a fresh front and rear look.Photo courtesy of MINI

In the back are LED rear lights in a Union Jack design and a fresh bumper design. MINI will offer the model with an available Piano Black exterior trim joining the new White Silver metallic and Sage Green metallic paint jobs. The model will ride on standard 17-inch light alloy wheels. Buyers can opt for 17-inch light alloy wheels in Channel Spoke Black design or 19-inch light alloy Turnstile Spoke two-tone wheels.

The Countryman will continue to be offered in a variety of models from the plug-in hybrid MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 to the high performance MINI John Cooper Works Countryman ALL4. The base Cooper Countryman will still come with a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine under the hood that generates 134 horsepower.

The next tier up, the Cooper S Countryman gets the same engine, tuned to put out 189 horsepower. The John Cooper Works model, with its standard all-wheel drive, has a 301-horsepower version of the power plant. All-wheel drive is available on the other two vehicles.

AN electrified version of the powertrain is available in the Cooper SE Countryman. It pairs a 1.5-liter engine with a 7.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery and an electric motor. The plug-in hybrid model has 17 miles of all-electric range.

2021 MINI Cooper Countryman The interior of the model has been given a facelift, just like the exterior of the car.Photo courtesy of MINI

The cabin of the car features a new cockpit display with an available 5-inch color screen. MINI is offering the 2021 Countryman with a new list of leather trim and interior surfaces. MINI is offering a new option for the Yours Interior Style package - Shaded Silver.

MINI offers the vehicle with new Chesterfield Indigo Blue and Chesterfield Matt Brown leather in addition to the 2020 model year roster of upholstery colors and finishes.

The MINI Cooper S Countryman and MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 models now come as standard with Piano Black interior surfaces for the cockpit and door bezels. These are combined with accent strips in the variant British Oak dark.

At the center is an 8.8-inch touch screen. Signature and Iconic trim levels have navigation. MINI has refined the look of the audio control panel, buttons for hazard lights, and driver assistance systems. Amazon Alexa integration is available.

2021 MINI Cooper Countryman There's an 8.8-inch touch screen in the middle of the car.Photo courtesy of MINI

For the new model, there is a longer list of available MINI accessories from the manufacturer. The selection ranges from a roof box, molded luggage compartment mats and all-weather floor mats, to individual MINI LED door projectors from the MINI Yours Customized program, and of course, John Cooper Works performance products designed for extreme driving fun.

The 2021 MINI Countryman is expected to arrive in U.S. showrooms later this summer. Pricing will be available closer to the model's on-sale date.

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The ID.4 will ramp up production as the U.S. says goodbye to the Passat.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The Volkswagen Passat will end its run in 2023 at VW's U.S. manufacturing base in Chattanooga, Tennessee. But don't worry, Volkswagen has plans for what is next. In fact, they've already announced the products; they're just now getting around to specifying a timeline.

Currently, the Volkswagen Chattanooga Assembly Plant is producing the Passat alongside the Volkswagen Atlas and Atlas Sport. earlier this year, the plant celebrated the 1 millionth vehicle to roll off its assembly line - Aurora Red Metallic 2020 Volkswagen Passat R-Line.

Before the Chattanooga plant opened, Volkswagen hadn't made a vehicle in the U.S. in 22 years following the closing of the Westmoreland facility in Pennsylvania.

1977 Volkswagen Dasher and 2020 Volkswagen Passat The Dasher was the predecessor to the modern Passat. Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The Passat got its start as a vehicle designed specifically for the North American market. Ground was broken on the Tennessee plant in 2009 and in 2011 it began producing the cars. It currently employees approximately 3,800 people. In the last nine years, the plant has produced more than 700,000 Passats and 100,000 Atlas SUVs. The new 2020 Atlas Cross Sport and the refreshed 2021 Atlas recently began production.

Volkswagen has announced that the plant will be the company's North American base for manufacturing electric vehicles including the ID.4, representing an approximately $800 million investment, starting in 2022. The expansion to enable U.S. production of long-range EVs began in November 2019.

The expansion includes a new Engineering and Planning Center (EPC) at the plant that will feature a unique, state-of-the-art high-voltage laboratory that is designed to develop and test electric vehicle cells and battery packs. These cells and packs are slated to be assembled in the U.S. before being inserted into vehicles.

Production of the ID.4 will ramp up starting 2022. It will reach full capacity by 2023, then the Passat will be shown the door. Before the U.S. production begins, Volkswagen will exclusively produce the ID.4 at its Zwickau plant in Germany.

2022 Volkswagen ID.4 The Volkswagen ID.4 will be made in the U.S. starting in 2022.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Though the Passat is leaving the U.S. market, it will continue as a vehicle for international sale. Development of the ninth-generation version of the model is currently underway.

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The EPA-certified range of the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E has met Ford's expectations.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford has announced the certification of its all-electric range numbers for its 2021 Mustang Mach-E variants by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The good news for Ford is that the numbers meet their publicly shared expectations.

The EPA-estimated ranges for each of the four models tested:

  • 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Standard-Range RWD - 230 miles
  • 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Extended-Range RWD - 300 miles
  • 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Standard-Range eAWD - 211 miles
  • 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Extended-Range eAWD - 270 miles

"This validation by the EPA comes at a perfect time as the Mustang Mach-E is gearing up to take on the open road," said Darren Palmer, global director, Battery Electric Vehicles, Ford Motor Company.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E The Mustang Mach-E features a plusher interior than what you'll find in the Tesla Model Y. Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

There is one remaining model that is being tested. The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E California Route 1 is anticipated to be rated at 300 miles of range by the EPA once officials complete their tests.

There are numerous factors that go into determining the range a vehicle gets in real world driving scenarios. Actual range of the vehicle varies with conditions such as external elements, climate control operations, presence of all-wheel drive, the weight of passengers and cargo, driving behaviors, vehicle maintenance, lithium ion battery age, and the battery's state of health.

The top 300 miles of range is considerably better than most of the electric vehicles on the market today. The 2021 Audi E-Tronhas 222 mile of EPA-estimated range while the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV (259 miles) and 2020 Hyundai Kona Electric (258 miles) have significantly more range. The 2021 Polestar 2 falls between those with 233 miles of range. The 2021 Tesla Model Y gets more - 326 miles - while the 2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge gets far less - 208 miles. The 2022 Volkswagen ID.4 has been certified to get 250 miles of rage.

The forthcoming Nissan Ariya's range has yet to be announced but is expected to rival the Mustang Mach-E.

Customer deliveries for the Mustang Mach-E will start in December in the United States.

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