IIHS Names MINI Countryman as a '2011 Top Safety Pick' Winner

- First MINI vehicle to earn "Top Safety Pick" designation

- Countryman achieved "Good" rating for front, side, rollover and rear impact protection

- Roof strength performance more than tripled federal standard

Mar 07, 2011, 15:13 ET from MINI USA

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., March 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In recent testing, the 2011 MINI Cooper Countryman has earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) designation as a "Top Safety Pick" for achieving "Good" ratings for front, side, rollover, and rear impact protection.

"Safety is a top priority for MINI, and we are very pleased that the Countryman performed so well in the Institute's safety tests," said Jim McDowell, Vice President, MINI USA. "These results reinforce the idea that small cars are a safe choice in addition to being a practical one; and with a MINI, owners get an important premium small car feature... driving fun."

The Countryman is the first MINI vehicle to be named an IIHS "Top Safety Pick," and the second model from the BMW Group to achieve top results since the IIHS tightened the criteria to include "Good" performance for roof strength in rollover crashes. The roof of the Countryman withstood a force equal to nearly 5 times the car's weight. By comparison, the current federal standard is 1.5 times weight.

In addition to "Good" crash test ratings, winners must have electronic stability control (ESC), an important crash-avoidance feature, which is standard on all MINI models.

Complete range of safety equipment.

Designed for optimum safety in the event of a collision, the body MINI Countryman structure has precisely defined load paths and deformation zones, ensuring passive safety of the highest caliber.

In terms of crash behavior, both the front-wheel and all-wheel drive versions of the MINI Countryman perform the same. To ensure this equality, the ALL4 car comes with an innovative propshaft made up of two elements giving way within one another in the event of a collision to absorb impact energy. The body structure of the MINI Countryman is also designed to offer maximum occupant safety in the event of a collision. High-load-resistant bearer structures, precisely defined deformation zones and an extremely stable passenger cell serve to keep impact forces away from the passengers.

Reflecting the premium standard of the brand, MINI models come with a wide range of safety equipment, including seven standard airbags to enhance occupant safety. Three-point inertia-reel seat belts are fitted for all occupants, with belt latch tensioners and belt force limiters at the front, and LATCH child seat fastenings at the rear – all as standard.

Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) is standard on all models. Active safety is enhanced in critical driving situations by the standard anti-lock brakes (ABS), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBFD), and Cornering Brake Control (CBC).

Brake Assist detects emergency operation of the brakes and builds up maximum brake pressure very quickly. Hill Assist start-off assistance, in conjunction with DSC, maintains brake pressure for up to three seconds after the brake pedal has been released and before the clutch has been engaged, to prevent the car from rolling back when setting off on an uphill gradient.

All Countryman models feature 205/50 R17 runflat tires as standard for supreme safety and performance in all situations. Available optionally are 18'' alloy wheels with runflat tires, and 19" wheels can be ordered as a dealer-installed accessory.

MINI in the US

MINI is an independent brand of the BMW Group. In the United States, MINI USA operates as a business unit of BMW of North America, LLC which has been present in the United States since 1975. Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group's global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 138 BMW motorcycle retailers, 104 MINI passenger car dealers, and 30 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey. Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at: www.bmwgroupna.com

Journalist note: Information about the BMW Group and its products is available to journalists on-line at the BMW Group PressClub at the following address: www.press.bmwna.com. Additional information, images and video may be found at www.miniusanews.com.

SOURCE MINI USA



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