Mini’s Countryman crossover is about to receive a significant makeover. While the third-generation model won’t make its debut until later in 2023, the BMW-owned company published a set of official “spy” shots to preview the model and released details about where it will be built.
Although the original Mini released in 1959 is an emblem of the British car industry, BMW is responsible for successfully transforming the model line into a full-fledged brand, and the third-generation Countryman will roll off the assembly line with a “made in Germany” label. It will be built alongside the 1 Series, the 2 Series Gran Coupe, and the 2 Series Active Tourer in Leipzig, Germany, so it will be the first German-built Mini (the current-generation Countryman is made in Holland). It will also stand out as the first Mini built under the same roof as BMWs.
The crossover remains fully camouflaged, but it looks bigger and more rugged than the outgoing model; it notably sits higher and has a less tapered roof line. While the psychedelic black and yellow wrap hides most of the finer design details, we can tell that the Countryman loses the clamshell hood, but keeps the thick headlight bezels that have characterized the nameplate since its 21st-century reboot in 2010. The exterior door handles are now mounted flush with the door skins, and the big sensor in the grille hints at a wide selection of driving aids.
Mini hasn’t released technical specifications, but it clarified that gasoline- and battery-powered versions of the next Countryman will be available. An unverified report claims that the lineup will also include a gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain rated at about 322 horsepower. Front-wheel-drive will come standard, and all-wheel-drive will be either optional or standard on more expensive powertrains.
BMW will begin building the next Mini Countryman in late 2023, and we expect to hear more about the model in the coming months.