Advertisement

New MINI Countryman at head of ambitious MINI family plan

Exclusive image shows bolder look for MINI Countryman, with three-cylinder turbo engines planned

MINI has only just released the facelifted Countryman, but it’s forging ahead with radical plans for an all-new model, due in 2017 – and our exclusive image shows how it could look.

With the recent unveiling of the first-ever five-door MINI hatch, the manufacturer can afford to be a little more daring with the new Countryman as the cars currently occupy a similar position in the market. To help separate the two, the Countryman will take a more rugged approach to styling to tackle the challenge of the forthcoming BMW X1 replacement and new Audi Q1. 

Advertisement - Article continues below

Best crossovers on the market

Much larger proportions are also expected, as previewed in our main image. This is set to be the biggest MINI available when it arrives, with bulging wheelarches and extensive use of rugged body cladding to mark it out as the new range-topper. But the latest Countryman wouldn’t be a MINI without the trademark circular headlamps, chrome grille and wraparound windscreen. 

As with the recently launched new MINI hatch, the Countryman’s overhaul will continue under the skin. The versatile UKL1 front-wheel-drive platform will be used and can be adapted for all-wheel drive, too. There’ll be various Cooper, S, SD and John Cooper Works models of the Countryman, all using the new downsized and turbocharged three-cylinder engines, which boost performance and efficiency. 

Currently, only the new three-door and five-door MINI models are underpinned by the UKL1 platform, but a total of eight new model lines from the brand can be expected. A new Clubman, Convertible and Paceman are all under development. 

MINI Cooper cabrio

MINI also looks set to tap into the two-seat sports car market after revealing the Superleggera Concept earlier in the year. This rival for the Mazda MX-5 and Audi TT would replace the Roadster and Coupé models which have never really proven popular with buyers, as MINI looks to build on the 300,000 cars it currently sells in the UK each year. 

The company is also looking to expand into markets like China with new MPV and saloon models, although these cars are unlikely to make it here.

Every new MINI on the UKL1 platform

MINI five-door

On sale: Late 2014

MINI three-door

On sale: Now

MINI Paceman

On sale: 2017

MINI Clubman

New MINI Clubman 2014

On sale: Mid-2015

MINI JCW

MINI JCW

On sale: Late 2014

MINI Superleggera

On sale: 2016

Read our review of the new MINI here...

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit New 2020 MINI Countryman facelift revealed with range of new engines
MINI Countryman

New 2020 MINI Countryman facelift revealed with range of new engines

The revised MINI Countryman features mildly tweaked styling, fresh technology and an updated powertrain line-up
27 May 2020
Visit DS 3 Crossback vs MINI Countryman
DS 3 Crossback vs MINI Countryman - header
DS 3 Crossback

DS 3 Crossback vs MINI Countryman

The classy new DS 3 Crossback has the MINI Countryman in its sights, but can it win the posh small SUV battle?
11 Jun 2019

Most Popular

Visit New Volkswagen Golf GTI ride review
Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback

New Volkswagen Golf GTI ride review

Hi-tech new controls aim to keep legendary Volkswagen Golf GTI hot hatch’s driving dynamics at the top of the class
12 May 2020
Visit VW to pay customer £25,000 following new Dieselgate ruling
Volkswagen

VW to pay customer £25,000 following new Dieselgate ruling

Volkswagen has lost a landmark court case in Germany and must now pay significant compensation
26 May 2020
Visit New facelifted BMW 5 Series takes aim at Audi A6 and Mercedes E-Class
BMW 5 Series

New facelifted BMW 5 Series takes aim at Audi A6 and Mercedes E-Class

The BMW 5 Series has been updated with styling and efficiency tweaks, while a new 545e performance plug-in model joins the line-up
27 May 2020