MINI fans like to bemoan the existence of the Countryman crossover, as it’s the MINI that’s not so mini. However, the Countryman is the brand’s best seller, so it was always going to get a third generation, especially now that MINI is looking to transform itself into an electric brand. The next-generation of Countryman will be bigger, more spacious, and more high-tech than ever and it was just caught testing in the snow. (We don’t own the spy photos but you can see them here)

Electric MINI Countryman Coming in the Future

The car in question is an internal combustion version. There’s a purely electric version of the Countryman in the works but this one is piston-powered. Its dual exhausts prove that it’s likely some sort of ‘S’ model, so it will be a bit more powerful than the standard car. Its engine will also likely be an updated version of the current B48 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and it will certainly come with an automatic transmission but a manual is still a question mark.

When the electric version debuts, it will essentially be a MINI-ized version of the BMW iX1. So expect the same 64.7 kWh battery pack and dual-motor powertrain. In the iX1, that powertrain makes 308 horsepower and 364 lb-ft of torque but it’s unclear if the Countryman’s will be detuned a bit, to keep the BMW hierarchy of power intact.

Spy photo

Larger than Outgoing Countryman

As with the standard MINI Cooper 2-Door we’ve seen in spy photos, this Countryman is very clearly a MINI Countryman, even with its all new design language. The next generation of MINIs will feature entirely new designs but it’s clear MINI wants to keep the designs familiar. After all, there are few other brands on the market with as much design recognition as MINI, so why drastically change it? That doesn’t mean it won’t look fresh but it’s going to look like a MINI Countryman straight away.

Inside, the new Countryman will feature an all-new version of MINI’s infotainment system, which will be some mutated version of BMW’s iDrive 8. It will also likely have more interior space, thanks to the better packaging of its updated front-wheel drive chassis. The new BMW X1 is surprisingly spacious inside so I expect the MINI to be the same.

The third-gen Countryman goes into production later this year, at BMW’s Leipzig factory, so we should see it on dealership lots either by the end of 2023 or early 2024.

[Source: Car Scoops] / Spy photo