The MINI Countryman will continue to grow in size.
Spy photographers have caught the next-generation MINI Countryman testing in Germany, looking both longer and wider than its predecessor. The Countryman will ride on the same new platform as the BMW X1, meaning it will become more like a compact crossover than a city car. Expect front-wheel drive to be standard with optional all-wheel drive and a wide range of engines, both gasoline and diesel. A plug-in hybrid variant is also in the works, while at the top of the range will be a John Cooper Works variant with over 230 horsepower.
Since MINI is parent of the BMW Group, expect the plug-in hybrid version to beneifit from the German automaker’s focus on electrification with its i sub-brand. That means the front wheels will be driven by a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine while the rear wheels will be powered by an electric motor. Total system output should be around 240 hp, making it a compelling plug-in hybrid in the segment.
The next-generation MINI Countryman could be making its debut as soon as the 2016 Paris Motor Show later this month. If it doesn’t bow then, look for it at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show in March.
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