Ahead of its official reveal in the coming weeks, the third-generation MINI Countryman has been spied during final testing. Caught in Germany performing hot laps of the Nürburgring, these prototypes were likely the range-topping John Cooper Works judging by the quad exhaust system. It’s too soon to say whether the JCW will be available from day one or later in the life cycle, although it would be logical to save the best for later.

With the debut occurring soon, it makes sense MINI is using prototypes that have the full production body along with the final lights. There’s nothing mini about this crossover since it looks quite large, presumably with just about the same footprint as the mechanically related 2023 BMW X1. Speaking of which, the Countryman JCW should echo the recently unveiled X1 M35i.

The Oxford-based marque has already announced plans to go purely electric around 2030, so this will definitely be the last iteration of the crossover to offer combustion engines. However, a purely electric derivative has been teased already, and it should take after the BMW iX1. With the next-generation growing, MINI will have room for a smaller crossover in its lineup. Arriving in 2024, the Aceman is going to be sold strictly as an EV.

While it won’t be a mini in terms of size anymore (not that it was anyway), the crossover’s styling should be instantly familiar once that annoying camouflage will come off. As for the interior, it’s not much of a secret anymore considering MINI has already revealed the minimalist dashboard planned for its new wave of models. These cars will eschew the driver’s display in favor of an optional HUD complemented by a standard 9.4-inch OLED circular display for the infotainment. There’s going to be minimal switchgear and some fancy ambient lighting on top of the dashboard.

The outgoing model is assembled in The Netherlands by the VDL Nedcar automotive manufacturing company but that won’t be the case with its successor. The BMW Group is moving production in-house by making the third-gen Countryman in Leipzig, Germany where all flavors of the crossover will be produced.

Source: CarSpyMedia / YouTube