There’s a revamped Mini Countryman in development, and a new video captures the hotter S variant testing at the Nurburgring. It still wears a heavy layer of camouflage and cladding, but the new Mini looks like an evolution of the current model.
The video from the CarSpyMedia YouTube channel shows the car ripping around the race track, its tyres squealing. The quad exhaust pipes sticking out the back give away the car’s potent powertrain. At the front, the cladding and camo hide the fascia design, but we can see Mini’s circular headlights on the outsides of the nose, a hallmark styling trait. We can’t decipher much of the rear-end design.
Gallery: 2023 Mini Countryman S first spy photos
Mini will put the new Countryman on the FAAR platform that underpins the new BMW X1 crossover. Powertrain information remains a mystery, but the Countryman S will reportedly share a powertrain with the BMW X1 M35i, which means the Mini could pack a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine producing 302 bhp and 450 lb-ft of torque.
We expect Mini to offer less-powerful powertrain options. There are rumours of an all-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid version that pairs a turbocharged 1.5-litre with electricity to produce 322 bhp. The rumour mill suggests that the plug-in would offer an estimated 55 miles of electric range.
The video doesn’t provide a peek at the Mini’s interior, but previous spy shots did reveal it. They showed off a familiar-looking interior design with an oval driver display behind the steering wheel and a large, circular screen mounted on the dash. However, Mini went above and beyond to hide it from curious eyes.
Mini hasn’t announced a debut date for the refreshed model, so it’s anyone’s guess as to when the new Countryman will arrive. There are rumours that it will be on sale early next year, which means we could see it debut before the end of 2022, but the auto industry has not been predictable over the last few years. We hope the Mini begins dropping some camouflage ahead of its upcoming reveal.