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It’s a busy time for MINI – the new F54 MINI Clubman was unveiled last month, and next on the cards is the F57 Cabriolet, which is due to make its debut later this year.

This will be followed by the all-new Countryman in 2016. The F60 has of course been spied (as seen in the shots here), though the shape is close to that of the existing first-gen Countryman, so the final iteration of the type hasn’t quite shown itself yet.

Word early on was that the new car will adopt a more SUV-like approach, and this has been reiterated by Autocar – the publication says that sources at BMW have told it that the new Countryman will be a proper SUV, with a more rugged outlook than the current car. A hybrid version is also expected.

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It’s not surprising, really. With the MINI hatch now available in five-door form and the new Clubman taking a more wagon-like approach, there’s room for the brand to take an SUV approach for the new Countryman, with a more aggressive offroad styling and higher ground clearance.

The car, which will sit on BMW’s UKL1 front-wheel drive platform already in use on the F45 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, F46 2 Series Gran Tourer as well as the F48 X1, will essentially be the third of the brand’s new five core model strategy announced by MINI boss Peter Schwarzenbauer at the Clubman premiere in Berlin.

The publication bandies that the next one down the line could be a MPV-type offering known as the Traveller or a small BMW/Toyota-developed hatch working along the lines of the Rocketman Concept. Still early days yet, so it could swing either way.

Next-gen MINI Countryman prototype spyshots