Everybody’s likely sick of winter, except for Vermonters who live to hug their skis and snowshoes. It’s one of the Earth’s locales where winter tends to really hang on, welcome or not. Another such place is known as Lapland, the probable inspiration for the Depression outlaw “Lapland Willie” Weaver’s alias, but which in this case is a region of Sweden located, you guessed it, in the harsh piny stretches north of the Arctic Circle. That’s where MINI is evaluating the fifth-generation of this transformative, British-designed automobile.
Offered with both internal combustion and electric power, and now including a new three-door body style that will augment the larger Countryman, the new-edition MINI was wrung out on pristine snow at the winter testing center of its corporate owner, BMW Group, located way up north in Arjeplog, Sweden. The three-door is the lead vehicle of the new MINI generation, which will also include the Countryman’s eventual replacement. The icy environment allows BMW engineers a better opportunity to fine-tune the EV’s motors and battery pack for optimum in conditions that are, shall we say, marginal. We still prefer the Sunshine State.