The next-generation Countryman shares a platform with the BMW X1.
Winter testing is coming to an end shortly, which means manufacturers are busier than ever in Scandinavia’s frigid north. Our eagle-eyed spy teams captured Mini putting the next-generation Countryman through its paces, as there isn’t much time to wrap up cold-weather operations.
The new model hasn’t been shown much. Since we initially learned of its construction in October 2021, we’ve only seen it four times. Unfortunately, the level of camouflage appears to be the same as when we first spotted it, but the mix of sun and snow in these photographs allows us to get a clearer sense of its scale. The crossover will be larger than the existing model, and it will be built on the same FAAR platform as the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and the upcoming X1. According to our sources, it might be roughly 8 inches (20 centimetres) longer, providing extra passenger space and cargo capacity.
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The Countryman’s overall look will be extremely recognisable, with a large grille flanked by two ovalesque headlights, despite the fact that details front and rear are still hidden by camouflage. The prototype’s headlights appear to be placeholders, while the housings indicate that the final design will have sharper edges. The taillights are totally obscured, and there may be some phoney panels hidden beneath the back wrap, further adding to the mystery. At first appearance, there are no apparent exhaust tips, but a careful inspection reveals a single outlet pointing down on the driver’s side.
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As a result, there won’t be an all-electric Countryman, but one is rumoured to be on the way. Unconfirmed sources claim that a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder will partner with an electric motor for a combined 322 horsepower in a plug-in hybrid version (237 kilowatts). That would be an all-wheel-drive variant; a less powerful plug-in hybrid, as well as regular combustion-powered trims that just drive the front wheels, are all possibilities.
We feel a Countryman debut is still a few months away, based on the scant sightings and level of disguise. It will most likely make its debut in 2023, perhaps for the 2024 model year.