MINI will launch its latest and largest model, the MINI Countryman, to the UK market on September 18 2010.  The Countryman will be the fourth member of the MINI family following Hatch, Convertible and Clubman but the first to have four doors, seating for five adults and the first to offer four wheel drive.

The MINI Countryman will be available in seven models, two of which will offer ALL4, MINI’s new four wheel drive option.   The Countryman offers more space, more practicality and more versatility than any MINI before and it will also spearhead MINI’s return to the World Rally Championship in 2011.

“Countryman takes the MINI story to a new level in the brand’s 51 year heritage” said Jochen Goller, Director of MINI UK.  “With extra space, ALL4 and four doors we believe the MINI Countryman will appeal to a completely new audience and with prices starting at £16,000 with a very high standard specification, I think we are on to a winner.  The fact that Countryman is already sold out for this year indicates that MINI showrooms are going to be popular this autumn.”

Are you a fan of the latest MINI?

SkiddMark readers will likely be most interested in the 181bhp Cooper S, priced at £20,810 OTR and capable of hitting 0-62mph from standstill in a modest 7.6 seconds.  With the Countryman also entering WRC next year and other MINI models planned thereafter, it looks to be a busy year ahead for the BMW group brand.

As for the Countryman itself though, what do we think?  Can we still call it a MINI despite its longer proportions?