The new MINI Countryman has officially touched down in Italy where the automaker’s local division organized a photo shoot with two different versions. Positioned at opposite ends of the lineup, these cars depict the base C model with a puny three-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive alongside the punchy John Cooper Works with its potent four-banger and all-wheel drive.

Made by BMW at its factory in Leipzig, Germany, the third-generation Countryman is a vast departure from its predecessor. Codenamed “U25,” the new model is anything but mini since it has blossomed into a fully-fledged compact crossover. It’s now 4433 mm long, 1843 mm wide, and 1656 mm tall, so it’s almost the same size as the mechanically related BMW X1. Much like its sister model, there’s a fully electric version as MINI’s equivalent of the iX1.

Much like BMW has given the X1 M35i a quad exhaust setup, the Countryman JCW also adopts four tips. Confusingly, MINI also has a separate JCW trim that’s all show without any extra go since it doesn’t have the stronger 2.0-liter turbo engine dialed to 296 hp (312 hp in the United States). If you’re wondering about the output difference, it has to do with stricter emissions regulations applied in countries part of the European Union. It’s the same story with the X1 M35i and X2 M35i, with the next M135i and M235i likely to follow suit when they arrive later this year.

Although MINI Italy decided to put the spotlight on the gasoline-fueled Countryman, there’s still a diesel version available. The Countryman D is tailored to those who will be doing longer trips out on the open road where diesels excel in terms of fuel economy. One member of the family that’s missing and won’t return for the new generation is the plug-in hybrid since the fully electric variant is taking its place.

It’s safe to assume this is the final generation of the Countryman with combustion engines considering the Oxford-based marque has pledged to go purely electric by 2030.

Source: MINI Italy