The refreshed 2015 Mini Countryman was released not long ago, but the British automaker under German tutelage is moving ahead with its plans to refresh the entire model lineup.
We received exclusive images from our spy photographers, showing us an early glimpse of the model that is due for an all-new generation sometimes in 2017. Because the slot of the Mini with five doors has been just occupied by the first-ever five-door Mini hatchback, the automaker will be a little more daring with the next iteration of the Countryman – securing a more rugged approach that would position it better to rival with offerings such as the upcoming Audi Q1.
Besides the usual trademarked design features – such as the circular headlamps or wraparound windscreen, the Countryman will again be the biggest and most rugged Mini on offer, with extensive body cladding.
The model is underpinned by the newly unveiled UKL1 platform, which can be modified to also accommodate all-wheel drive. The usual suspects – Cooper, S, SD and John Cooper Works will be present, all using the new turbocharged three-cylinder engines, which should boost both efficiency and performance. Besides the already revealed three and five-door Mini hatch and the upcoming Countryman, the UKL1 platform should underpin at least a total of eight new models.
update: 2015 Mini Cooper John Cooper Works and 2015 Mini Cabrio images added