We reported earlier this week that the British brand’s popular compact crossover would push the boat out on the styling front when it arrives in 2017, and although this prototype shares the current Countryman’s overall shape, expect increased proportions. This is most clearly evident from the side, where it’s possible to make out an elongated bonnet and slightly larger overhangs, despite the misleading camouflage. The bigger wheels are sloping roofline also hint at the direction MINI is heading in with the second-generation car.
It’s likely the final design will be more than a simple reworking of the existing body kit though, and as you can see in our pictures a few changes have been made to the front, with what looks like wide intakes and an upsized grille added. There’ll be extensive use of rugged body cladding as well, and further back MINI has fitted rounded-off taillights that cut into the bootlid.
As with the recently-launched new MINI hatch, the Countryman’s overhaul will continue under the skin. The versatile UKL1 platform – set to underpin at least 11 MINI and BMW models over the next three years – will be used for both front- and all-wheel drive variants, and power is set to come from the new three-cylinder turbo engines as found in the 2 Series Active Tourer.