Massachusetts MINI Cooper Dealer Celebrates New Model Arrival with Cook-Off
Amid piles of snow and ice, things got downright “chili” at MINI of Peabody on January 16, as the Massachusetts MINI dealer welcomed the first MINI Countryman models to its lot with a midwinter “bootgate” party and chili cook-off.
More than 100 MINI enthusiasts attended, getting their first look at the biggest MINI in the company’s history and sampling 21 different flavors of homemade chili. The winner received a $200 gift card and the use of a new MINI Countryman for a weekend.
“Events like this are what make our MINI dealership special,” said Marshal Cabot, general manager of MINI of Peabody. “We got a chance to spend time having fun with New England MINI owners, gave away some MINI footballs and gift cards, and let everyone see the four MINI Countryman models we had on display.”
The winter backdrop was an appropriate setting for the MINI Cooper Countryman, which promises to tame snow-packed roads with a new level of flair. As MINI’s entry into the crossover category, the Countryman is 15.7 inches longer than the MINI Cooper S. That means no driving up and down narrow staircases, Italian Job style, but it also means that buyers can opt for a rear bench seat with room for a fifth passenger.
The Countryman base model features the same engine found in MINI Cooper and Clubman models, a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder that puts out 121 horsepower, but New England drivers who want the most fun in the snow will want to upgrade to the MINI Cooper S Countryman. Offering all-wheel drive for surer footing in the snow, the Cooper S Countryman also ups the drivetrain power with a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine capable of 192 pound-feet of torque and 181 horsepower.
Owners of the MINI Cooper S Countryman will also get a dash of parent company BMW’s technology in the form of the Valvetronic variable lift system, which uses an electric motor to control valve timing and improve fuel economy.
Every passenger in the new Countryman will be sheltered from the elements in rare comfort, with reclining seats in both the front and back rows. When the back seats are filled with friends and family, 12.2 cubic feet of cargo capacity remains in the easy-to-access trunk, or “boot,” as they call it in the UK. If extra cargo capacity is needed, owners can give backseat passengers the boot and fold the seats down to increase storage space to 41.3 cubic feet.
“This may be the biggest MINI that we’ve ever had in the showroom, but it still has the peppy MINI handling that owners love,” Cabot added. “With the available all-wheel drive, it also becomes a very capable winter crossover for everyday use, no matter how difficult the roads get.”