It’s not a secret that Mini is cooking up a new generation Countryman. It will be based on the FAAR platform shared with the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and the next-gen X1, and all three will be built on the same production lines in Leipzig, Germany. We’ve already seen prototypes testing on public roads and a new report claims the model's most potent version will be a plug-in hybrid,
According to Autocar, the Countryman PHEV will be launched as Mini’s most powerful production car in history, even more powerful than the Mini JCW GP hot hatch. The electrified powertrain will combine a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder gas engine with an electric motor for a combined output of 322 horsepower (237 kilowatts). All-wheel drive will be standard. A 14.2-kWh battery pack will provide energy for up to 55 miles (88 kilometers) of purely electric range, according to the report.
Gallery: 2023 Mini Countryman S first spy photos
For comparison, the Countryman Cooper S E All4 currently offers 220 hp (160 kW) and can travel up to 35 miles (57 km) on a single charge. For now, we don’t know whether this powerful new hybrid will receive the JCW badge, though we know Mini plans to use the suffix on electrified models in the future. As a side note, the battery of the new PHEV can be fully recharged in about 2.5 hours from a 7.4 kW charger.
The engine range of the new Countryman will reportedly also feature a less powerful version of the same plug-in powertrain with a system output of 241 hp (177 kW). A 1.5- and 2.0-liter turbo gas engines are also under development, and so is a 2.0-liter diesel. The gasoline options will be supported by a 48-volt mild-hybrid technology. Last but not least, a fully-electric version will reportedly join the lineup at a later date with a standard all-wheel drive.
The new FAAR architecture, an evolution of the UKL front-wheel-drive platform, in combination with the expected bigger dimensions, will create larger passenger and cargo compartments. In fact, Autocar claims the new Countryman will be positioned in the segment of the Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Qashqai, rather than the Toyota CH-R and Nissan Juke segment.