The original modern MINI developed underneath BMW’s corporate umbrella was indeed mini, at only 3627 mm (142.8 inches) long. However, subsequent models got bigger and bigger, and the Countryman took things to a whole new level. The next-gen crossover will be more maxi rather than mini, according to a new report from Auto Express.

The British magazine claims the third iteration of the Countryman will be nearly 4.5 meters (177 inches) long. In other words, it’s going to be just about as big as an Audi Q3, Volvo XC40, or a Mercedes GLA. If the report is accurate, the jump in size will be significant considering the outgoing model is only 4.31 meters (169.7 inches) long.

The increased footprint isn’t all too surprising since the mechanically related BMW X1 will also be much bigger. We’ve heard through the grapevine it will stretch at 4.6 meters (181.1 inches). The Leipzig plant will be the first factory in Germany to build BMWs and MINIs under the same roof. Expect to see both of them go official before the end of 2022.

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A Bigger Countryman Will Allow MINI To Slot A Smaller Crossover Underneath It

Moving production in-house means the Countryman will no longer be outsourced to the VDL Nedcar in Born, The Netherlands. Much like the BMW with the future iX1, the not-so-mini MINI crossover will spawn a fully electric derivative. Auto Express believes the increase in size is necessary to make room for a smaller electric crossover due in the coming years. In addition, a minivan-esque model molded after the Urbanaut concept is happening as well.

All versions of the new MINI Countryman will be electrified to some extent as even the base model will feature a mild-hybrid 48-volt setup. The performance-oriented Cooper S will return, complete with the familiar turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine and quad tips. As a side note, the X1 M35i will also get the more aggressive exhaust layout.

[Source: Auto Express]