Next MINI Countryman spotted again ahead of 2016 release

13 Jan, 2016 10:30am Lawrence Allan

MINI's new Countryman crossover hatch is spied with less camouflage, set to debut in the autumn

MINI's current Countryman is now the oldest car in the firm's range, and an all-new model is just around the corner. The Audi Q3 rival is expected to be unveiled at a motor show in the second half of 2016.

These spy images provide our best look yet at the finished design, showing a conservative evolution over the current, five-year-old Countryman. The retro shape at the front is pure MINI, while the boxy side profile and tall shoulderline give it an SUV-like look.

Despite rumours that it would be taller and more like a full midsize SUV than before, it doesn't appear to have any more ground clearance than the old car. You can see longer overhangs front and rear, however, hinting at a more spacious cabin.

Expect more practical features in the Countryman's cabin, as space and useability was a criticism of the old car. The dash design will likely be lifted straight from the new Clubman estate, too.

As with the recently-launched Clubman, the Countryman’s overhaul will continue under the skin. The versatile UKL1 platform – set to underpin at least 11 MINI and BMW models in the coming 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.