Mini is working on its next-generation models that should begin arriving in 2023. Just recently, the British company teased the two-door hatch with a camouflaged prototype powered by an electric powertrain. We can now take a look at the larger four-door Countryman in the sportier S trim, as our photographers captured a test car on public roads in Germany.

As you can see from the gallery below, this trial vehicle looks quite familiar when it comes to its exterior design, though it’s significantly larger than the outgoing model. There already are rumours that the new Countryman will be approximately 20 centimetres (7.87 inches) longer than its predecessor, which would put it at around 4.5 metres (177 inches).

Gallery: 2023 Mini Countryman S first spy photos

Compared to the previous 2023 Countryman we spied (see the related links below), this prototype features a quad exhaust system at the back, which hints it has a more powerful combustion engine under the bonnet. We don’t know what that engine is, though, but chances are high it will be shared with the next-generation BMW X1 as the two crossovers will be based on BMW’s FAAR platform, an evolution of the UKL front-wheel-drive platform.

The new architecture should allow Mini to build a more spacious and practical vehicle, and we expect the packaging improvements to benefit mostly the passengers at the back. There should be turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, and word on the street is the plug-in hybrid version will be retired to make room for a fully-electric Countryman. Again, the electric crossover should share its underpinnings with the upcoming X1 EV, believed to be labelled iX1.

There’s a wild rumour claiming the Paceman could make a comeback as a coupe-like crossover, though nothing can be confirmed at the moment. We will have to wait until 2023 to see the new generation Countryman, with production slated to take place at BMW’s assembly lines in Leipzig.