Even though a new Countryman is right around the corner, MINI found the time to squeeze in one more special version of the outgoing generation. In Japan where the model is simply known as the Crossover, the limited-run Highlands Edition follows the Albert Bridge Edition introduced in November 2022. While that one was based on the plug-in hybrid, the latest flavor is available exclusively with a diesel engine.
Sold with or without all-wheel drive, the model is capped at 200 units in the Land of the Rising Sun. It echoes a namesake Countryman-badged special version sold in certain European markets. It’s available starting today at MINI dealers in Japan and the first deliveries are scheduled for the middle of the month. As to what makes it special, it’s all about cosmetic tweaks inside and out since there aren’t any mechanical changes compared to a regular FWD or AWD model.
The changes start on the outside where the roof is painted in Roof Top Gray while the bumpers get matte silver accents. It rides on black 18-inch wheels and has other dark touches noticeable on the side mirror caps and roof rails. The most obvious indicator is the side scuttle depicting a map of the Scottish Highlands and featuring different designs on the sides of the vehicle. To sweeten the pot, MINI Japan throws in the Picnic Bench wide enough for two people.
Being a special edition, this Crossover/Countryman is loaded with standard equipment, including full-LED headlights (including fog lights), a panoramic glass roof, and a rearview camera. The JDM-spec Highlands Edition also comes with parking sensors, active cruise control, electrically adjustable mirrors, and Apple CarPlay integration. On the safety side, there’s lane departure warning and collision damage mitigation, among other systems.
Stick to the front-wheel-drive model and you’ll be paying ¥5,410,000 ($37,900) whereas the equivalent All4 model retails for ¥5,670,000 ($39,700).