Some recent spy photos seem to confirm the development of a prototype for the new MINI Countryman. The photos reveal a few details of the next generation of MINIs compact crossover SUV.
While it is true that the MINI Countryman was freshly updated for 2015, it is clear development of a successor is already well underway.
The shape of the new model appears to be boxier, though a bit more rugged, but still unmistakably a member of the MINI family. Also, like most newly redesigned MINIs, they will be bigger than the current version. This should add some sorely needed room in the cabin.
The new models will be built on the UKL platform that is already used for the newest MINI Hardtop, Clubman and Convertible. Several BMWs also use the UKL platform, including the latest X1, which was developed in conjunction with the new Countryman.
The base Cooper Countryman will mostly likely ship as front-wheel drive only as standard, with the ALL4 all-wheel-drive system available as an option.
Also, expect to see a selection of sportier variants, like the Cooper S Countryman. There will also likely be a John Cooper Works model that will ship as standard with the ALL4 system on board and at least 228 horsepower at the ready.
Under the hood, expect to find the 1.5 liter 3 cylinder engine on the standard Countryman version, with the Cooper S and JCW models sporting the 2.0 liter 4-banger. Both 3 and 4 cylinder engines will be turbocharged.
As six-speed manual transmissions is standard, with a six- and eight-speed automatics optional.
A handful of new safety features will also be on-board, including a head-up display, collision and pedestrian warning systems, a parking assist feature, and even a GPS-based speed limit information system.
MINI will most likely do a debut for the new model sometime in 2016, with the rubber actually hitting the showroom floor as a 2017 model.
For a more extensive gallery of photos, click here.
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