A heavily camouflaged prototype of the 2017 MINI Countryman was caught on camera by our spy photographers on the Nürburgring.

A heavily camouflaged prototype of the 2017 MINI Countryman was caught on camera by our spy photographers on the Nürburgring.

Facelifted about a year ago, the Countryman is already heading towards a second generation which will come with some significant changes as the new model will be significantly larger than the current car and is going to use the UKL1 platform just like the most recent MINI models.

Don't expect a major design change as MINI will take the evolutionary route, but with a bigger front grille and reshaped headlights. It also appears to have a more prominent roof-mounted rear spoiler while the plastic body cladding around the bulging wheel arches remains hidden underneath the camouflage.

Set to become the biggest MINI ever made, the new Countryman will have a front-wheel drive layout but an ALL4 all-wheel drive system is going to be offered on higher-end models. Production will take place at the VDL NedCar factory in Born, The Netherlands and at the Oxford plant in UK. It should go on sale towards the end of next year as a 2017MY and will eventually receive a John Cooper Works (JCW) derivative sitting on top of the range with a four-cylinder, 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine rated at 228 bhp (170 kW) and 236 lb-ft (320 Nm) of torque.

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