The next Mini Countryman will be a little less, well, mini.
As these spy photographs reveal, the redesigned model – reportedly set for a 2023 launch – is larger than the current car.
It’s set to move to the new FAAR platform that’ll also underpin the next BMW X1, and will be built alongside the Bimmer in Leipzig, Germany.
The new architecture supports not only internal-combustion and plug-in hybrid powertrains like the current Countryman’s UKL2 platform, but also full-electric models.
Mini has already confirmed it’s launching an electric crossover, though it’s unclear if it’ll continue to offer a plug-in hybrid Countryman.
The crossover isn’t losing its Mini idiosyncrasies as it grows in size, however.
The free-standing digital instrument cluster is similar to that used in current-generation Mini models, though behind it there appears to be either a different digital cluster or a pop-up head-up display.
The enormous infotainment touchscreen continues the circular motif Mini has been peddling for two decades now, though there doesn’t look to be a thick bezel therefore ensuring maximum screen size.
Below it sits a row of oversized physical controls, including a stubby gear selector.
The interior should be roomier, with reports suggesting the new Countryman could be some 200mm longer than the current model, which measures 4313mm from tip to tail.
Exterior styling is evolutionary, in Mini fashion, appearing to retain the clean sides and floating roof design of the current car. The sides are made cleaner still through the use of flush-mounted door handles.
A sleeker, “coupe”-style spin-off has been rumoured to join the Mini line-up, potentially resurrecting the Paceman nameplate.
A smaller SUV has also been confirmed to slot in under the Countryman, co-developed with Great Wall Motors.
We expect base Countryman variants to feature turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder and 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engines. A 2.0-litre turbo-diesel may even pop up on European models, and most engine choices should come with mild-hybrid tech.
If the recently unveiled 2 Series Active Tourer is anything to go by, the Countryman could come with two plug-in hybrid options, both with a 1.5-litre engine driving the front wheels and an electric motor at the rear.
Total output for the 220e is 180kW, while there’s a not-insubstantial 240kW in the 230e. Both feature a 16.3kWh battery said to be good for 80km of pure electric driving under the WLTP standard.
Mini is getting ready to move away entirely from internal-combustion engines.
The last new Mini model with an internal-combustion engine will be released in 2025, and Mini says 50 per cent of its sales will be pure-electric by 2027.
Come 2030, every single Mini will be electric.