Variants of the new Mini Countryman can be fitted with a permanent all-wheel-drive system called MINI ALL4. The system utilizes GKN Driveline's electromagnetic center differential to distribute torque between the crossover's front and rear axle. During normal driving up to half of the engine's power is directed to the rear wheels. However, when traction is very poor, such as when driving on ice, all the power can be diverted to the rear axle. The awd is connected to the vehicle's stability control to further improve handling and therefore safety.
GKN Driveline manufactures the coupling system in Bruneck, northern Italy. Previously the firm produced this technology in Japan. The Mini Countryman marks the first time the awd system has been produced in Europe. GKN Driveline also developed its stability control software in Europe, at its development facility in Germany. GKN Driveline is the largest business within the UK-based global engineering group GKN Plc.
Other important contributors to the Countryman's drivetrain include Getrag All Wheel Drive AB (GAWD), which supplies the power-take-off-unit from its plant in Koping, Sweden. According to the supplier, the main technological challenge was to produce a unit able to fit into the small automobile's compact engine compartment. This contract, GAWD's first with Mini parent BMW AG, was won through an Internet auction and required the building of a new assembly line. Getrag KG, which is headquartered in Untergruppenbach, Germany, supplies all manual transmissions for Mini models, including the new Countryman, while ZF Friedrichshafen AG provides the complete axle modules and suspension components just-in-sequence to Mini's assembly plant.
The Countryman is built by Magna Steyr Fahrzeugtechnik in Graz, Austria, while the gasoline engines come from the BMW's Hams Hall engine plant near Birmingham, England. BMW produces the Mini Countryman's diesels at its engine plant in the Austrian town of Steyr. Mini Countryman prices start at €20,200 (about $27,700) in Germany.