Outdoor sports and sustainable energy production become one along the Verdon River bordering the south-eastern edge of Provence, which is considered as an ideal destination for a white-water rafting outing with the MINI Cooper SE Countryman All4. Its ability to transport kayaks while embracing the opportunity to use electricity from renewable sources to power driving fun.
The Verdon Gorge situated in the south-east of the Département Alpes-de-Haute-Provence is also known as the “France’s Grand Canyon” among water-sports enthusiasts, climbers and hikers. In summers, number of travellers with kayaks and canoes lookout for spots to launch their boats and paddle along the waters of the Verdon, which is turquoise blue in colour due to high fluorine content. The MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 (combined fuel consumption: 2.0 – 1.7 l/100 km; combined electricity consumption: 14.0 – 13.1 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 45 – 40 g / km) has proven itself to be an ideal vehicle for crossing the dirt and gravel tracks leading to the river banks, as it has a hybrid-specific all-wheel drive which also provides an especially sustainable form of driving fun.
The powerful all-rounder plug-in hybrid system consists of a three-cylinder petrol engine fitted with turbo MINI Twin-Power technology. This transmits the power to the front wheels while the rear wheels are powered by an electric motor. Together they produce 162 kW/220 hp of device output. In addition, the smartly regulated relationship between the petrol engine and the electric motor ensures demand-based delivery of power to suit any driving situation. The high-voltage battery is located underneath the MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 rear seat bench in a low slung location. In the plug-in hybrid version of the spacious five-door car with a volume of between 405 and 1275 litres, this also offers a luggage compartment – sufficient space for holiday luggage and sports equipment. Two white-water kayaks can be easily transported to the Verdon Gorge on the roof of the British premium brand ‘s largest model, with the aid of the optional roof rails and the rack system available in the original MINI accessory set.
In the rushing waters of the river between Castellane and the Sainte-Croix artificial lake, rafting fans will find ideal conditions for adventurous white-water paddle. The flow rises twice a week during holiday season. Seasoned kayakers ride the Verdon’s foaming rapids across the gorge soaring up to 700 metres above sea level on these days.
Approximately 140 million kilowatt hours of electricity are generated each year by the Lac de Sainte-Croix hydroelectric power station, located 95 metres high behind a concrete dam and this sustainably generated energy is incorporated into the nearby region’s distribution network. This means that during its evening stopover in Sainte Croix du Verdon, the MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 will recharge its lithium-ion battery with electricity generated from renewable sources. With a gross power capacity of 10.0 kWh, the high voltage battery can be plugged into a standard domestic power socket and fully charged in less than three and a quarter hour. To switch the drive system to all-electric driving pleasure, it suffices to click the e-Drive toggle switch. The MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 will then attain a maximum speed of 135 km/h operated exclusively by its electric motor in the MAX e-Drive operating mode. Its high-voltage battery storage capacity gives the car a range of 55 to 61 kilometres on a pleasant drive through the picturesque scenery of southern Provence. Electricity reserves are also enough for a ride just across the man-made lake. And if the spectacular scenery causes the drivers to take a sudden shift, the internal combustion engine will automatically take action.
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