The Mini Countryman junior SUV is just one of three variants that will be based on this new Mini platform - and could also form the basis of a rally car for the WRC.
After the Countryman hits the showrooms next September, the next model to be launched is expected to be a lower-riding five-door Mini aimed at young families.
This will be followed up by a hot version, which insiders describe as “a sort of Mini GTI”.
The standard-issue GTI will be good for at least 175bhp and will be tuned to offer a similar driving experience to the three-door Cooper models.
A front-wheel-drive version will be the mainstay model, but there’s no news yet on whether BMW will commission a ‘baby Quattro’ version with four-wheel drive.