MINI-COUNTRYMAN-HYBRID-0009

As controversial as the current MINI Countryman may have been, it cannot be denied that the brand opened itself up to a whole new subset of customers with its first crossover. And it may soon be courting even more new buyers, as our trusty European spy photographers have managed to snap a hybrid version of the next-generation model.

This camouflaged F60 mule was spotted with the words “Hybrid Test Vehicle” on the side, marking out its dual-powered nature. Since BMW has also been spotted testing a plug-in version of its 2 Series Active Tourer – with which the upcoming Countryman will share its UKL front-wheel drive architecture – it’s very likely that this car is rechargeable through the mains as well.

MINI-COUNTRYMAN-HYBRID-0002

Like the 2AT-previewing Concept Active Tourer, the Countryman PHEV is rumoured to utilise the 136 hp B38 1.5 litre turbo three-pot driving the front wheels, while a 102 hp electric motor powers the rear wheels. Combined, the all-wheel drive powertrain could produce as much as 240 hp – for reference, the Concept Active Tourer promised an output of over 190 hp and 200 Nm.

Our spies have also sent over an image of the regular Countryman’s interior – the cabin looks very similar to the cockpit of the F55/F56 Hatch, with a speedometer moved to the top of the steering column (ahead of the driver), a larger central screen, rectangular air vents and more staid BMW-esque switchgear, including an iDrive-inspired multimedia controller. This contrasts with the offbeat rounded interior of its predecessor.

MINI-COUNTRYMAN-HYBRID-0012

As with every new MINI, the new F60 Countryman is set to be larger in all dimensions than the previous R60, corresponding to more room for both passengers and luggage. It remains to be seen if the car will grow quite so much as to match the upcoming F48 BMW X1 in size, the latter riding on the same platform.

By all accounts, we should see the F60 MINI Countryman debuting sometime next year, after its two other yet-to-be-unveiled siblings, the Cabrio and Clubman, get their own reveals.