MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 Untamed Edition in Lapland.

Arjeplog. Winters in Swedish Lapland are long. For more than half of the year, temperatures are below zero. On average, Arjeplog, the starting point of the icy road trip with the MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 in the Untamed Edition, reaches an average temperature of 0.7 degrees Celsius. With so much winter, it’s no wonder that the indigenous people of Lapland divide the year into eight seasons instead of four. Now in February, the “spring winter” begins for the Sámi. While the natives spend their daily lives in constant twilight between December and January, everything changes in February. With the higher position of the sun, the short-wave blue and green light returns. The sun changes the snow, forming sparkling ice crystals and a thick crust of snow. The perfect time for a magical adventure in the wintry landscape south of Arjeplog.

Prototypes on Ice.

Right from the start of the tour, the MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL 4 (fuel consumption combined: 7.5 – 7.0 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 170 – 159 g/km according to WLTP) can demonstrate its maximum traction and driving stability in every snowy corner. The Untamed Edition underscores the off-road characteristics of the untamed adventurer with 18-inch alloy wheels in Untamed 2-tone design. Moreover, the terrain here is not entirely unfamiliar to the all-rounder; after all, MINI regularly tests the driving dynamics and safety of its model range in the region around Arjeplog.

The vast expanse of ice is about six times the size of Monaco and certainly boasts the world’s highest density of prototypes in winter. Up here in the north, the vastness and solitude offer numerous automobile manufacturers the best conditions for undisturbed testing of the winter suitability of their prototypes. Most recently, all-electric vehicles from MINI demonstrated their driving dynamics and the maturity of their electric drives in icy temperatures.

After the first warm-up exercises on a frozen lake, the route leads along the huge ice surface toward Vaxholm in the south. Where in summer talented fly-fishermen fish for spectacular salmon in the cold, clear waters of the archipelago, a seemingly endless expanse of white now surrounds the driver.

The MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 with its powerful engine and all-wheel drive is made precisely for such discoveries off the beaten track. The 131 kW/178 hp four-cylinder engine with MINI TwinPower Turbo technology ensures sporty driving pleasure on any terrain.

The perfect place for extended winter adventures.

Behind Lake Storavan, the landscape changes and vast winter forests pass in front of the windshield of the MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4. In keeping with the surroundings, the illuminated decorative trim in Frozen Bluestone features the graphic pattern of a mountain landscape, testifying to the adventurer’s preferred terrain. It is shortly after midday and the dimly shining sun bathes the deep snow-covered pines in an unreal shimmering light. Temperatures are now already dropping below minus 20 degrees Celsius. Nothing unusual at this time of the year, and yet the comfortable seats of the MINI Yours Leather Lounge in the exclusive Highland Green color with contrasting blue and green stitching suddenly seem even more comfortable.

The route now takes us across a historic arched bridge through Slagnäs. Here in the middle of Sápmi, the Sámi settlement area that stretches between Norway, Sweden and Finland, the Båtsuoj Cultural Center invites visitors to learn more about the traditions of the indigenous population. On the way south to Malå there are many opportunities to observe reindeer. These wild animals, closely associated with Sami culture, have adapted perfectly to their Arctic environment: For example, the reindeer snout functions as a heat exchanger for the icy air, and their eyes change their sensitivity to light between seasons. From the midnight sun in summer to the polar night in winter, their eye color therefore changes from brown to blue. In the Untamed Edition, on the other hand, the MINI Countryman ALL4 sticks to the exclusive Momentum Grey body color, which effectively sets off the powerfully sculpted surfaces of the edition model.

Magic and mysticism as far as the eye can see.

A good hour south of Malå, the small village of Rentjärn in the middle of the Strömfors nature reserve with its deep snow-covered forest paths invites you to expeditions off the beaten track. The extensive nature park in this area of Lapland is known for its good chances of discovering the magically twitching green northern lights in the night sky.

Suitable equipment such as snowshoes, hiking poles and backpacks for provisions can easily be accommodated in the spacious trunk of the MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4, which can be expanded from 450 liters to up to 1390 liters of cargo volume in just a few easy steps. After the challenging tour through the deep snow, it’s time for a hearty snack of hot tea and hearty snacks in the bistro of the small Lapland Stuga Hostel. The experienced guides from here lead the visitors safely through the seemingly endless landscapes and tell meanwhile about the mystical stories of the Sámi people, who are so closely rooted to this region.

Some mythical creatures are also known to non-Swedes, after all, Lapland is home to the elves, among others. According to Swedish folklore, the angelic spirits live hidden in the hills and forests, appearing either in the morning mist or at dusk. It is obviously already too dark to meet the lucky charms now. Nevertheless, one wish comes true. Because in front of the small cabin in the forest, painted in typical Swedish red, the already warmly heated MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 Untamed Edition is waiting and ready for the adventurous drive back to Arjeplog.