The Mini Countryman will share its FAAR front-driven architecture with the all-new BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and be produced alongside that model and the upcoming X1 crossover in Leipzig, Germany. It is set to use the same range of petrol and plug-in hybrid powertrains, the most potent of which will be a four-wheel-drive PHEV set-up with a combined output that shades even that of the current Mini JCW GP hot hatchback.
The powertrain will pair a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with a 174bhp electric motor for a combined output of 322bhp, making the model substantially quicker than today’s 217bhp Countryman Cooper S E All4. A 14.2kWh (usable) battery will supply it with around 55 miles of EV range, a near-100% increase. It can be fully charged in 2.5 hours from a 7.4kWh charger.
It is not yet confirmed whether the most powerful Countryman will wear the JCW badge traditionally reserved for Mini’s performance models, but the brand has already confirmed its intentions to carry the nameplate through to its electrified product range.
A less powerful PHEV option with a combined 241bhp will also be available, as will 168bhp 1.5-litre three-cylinder and 215bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engines, both with 48V mild-hybrid technology, and a 2.0-litre diesel.
The Countryman will follow its BMW X1 sibling in gaining a pure-electric powertrain option, too. Few details are currently available but, like the combustion-engined car, it is expected to be front-wheel drive as standard.
We got our first look at the hot range-topper late last year. A camouflaged test mule gave itself away with a beefy quad-exit exhaust, sports alloys and prominent rear spoiler.