Next Mini Countryman to be joined by electric crossover
21 April 2022 - Autocar
Enlarged four-door will gain baby brother for next generation
While the Mini hatchback will remain relatively similar in its next generation, there’s a more extensive shake-up planned at the larger end of the Mini range.
Somewhat surprisingly, the Mini five-door hatchback won’t get an electric version and the estate is unlikely to be directly replaced.
For those after a more practical Mini EV, there will be a new electric-only compact crossover to sit beneath the Mini Countryman. This smaller high-riding model is due to be revealed later this year and will also be built in China as part of the Spotlight joint venture between the BMW Group and Great Wall Motor.
It is likely to take a much more radical design than the retro-inspired production Mini models seen to date. This smaller crossover will allow the Countryman to grow in order to better serve buyers with families, as well as buyers in the US, who are traditionally predisposed towards larger cars.
Contrary to earlier reports, the plug-in hybrid version of the Countryman is set to disappear. Like the rest of the future Mini range, the new Countryman will be powered by either petrol or electric drivetrains. A diesel version is in development but won’t be offered in the UK.
Countryman production will move from its current home in the Netherlands to Germany as Oxford focuses on the hatchback and convertible and the new Chinese plant handles the electric cars.