The next generation of the Countryman is being readied
Two plug-in hybrid models will be offered
The most powerful version could have 322 horsepower
The Countryman is a subcompact SUV that serves as the brand’s largest vehicle. The next generation will be based on the FAAR platform, which it will share with the BMW X1 and the 2 Series Active Tourer, a model we won’t see in North America.
A few prototypes have already been spotted on German roads, so the production version is expected to be launched in the coming months.
Reports say that the new Countryman could grow to be quite a bit bigger than the current model, which would make it compete with the likes of the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V, a size category that was never occupied by the brand before.
The surprise is that the top-of-the line version of this model could be the most powerful vehicle to ever wear the Mini badge.
Indeed, the plug-in hybrid powertrain that will be used in this model could deliver up to 322 horsepower, which is more than even the Mini JCW GP, which is a dedicated hot hatch.
To achieve this level of output, the powertrain will combine the familiar 1.5L turbocharged 3-cylinder engine which is currently used in some Mini models with an electric motor. Since all-wheel drive will reportedly be standard, the electric motor could possibly be installed on the rear axle.
To power the electrified system, a 14.2 kWh battery will be used, which should be enough to allow an all-electric range of up to 88 kilometers (55 miles). The charging time for this battery is expected to be about 2.5 hours.
A less powerful version of the same hybrid system will also be available, with a projected output of 241 horsepower. Other engines will be part of the program, with two gasoline engines and a diesel one. The gasoline models will all feature a 48-volt mild hybrid system and the diesel engine is not expected to be available on our side of the Atlantic.
In addition, a fully electric version is supposedly in the works and it could arrive in a few years. Few details are known about it, other than it will have AWD as standard, which likely means it will feature a dual motor setup.