For the first time since the Countryman debuted in 2010, Mini's SUV will offer an all-electric variant for its next generation.
Arriving in February 2024, the Mini Countryman Electric will be the first of a trio of all-electric models – along with the Cooper Electric hatchback and Aceman crossover – that will revolutionise the brand's lineup, according to CEO Stefanie Wurst.
At a recent preview event attended by Autocar, she disclosed powertrain and styling details, along with other information on the all-electric 2024 Countryman. To create room in the lineup for the upcoming Aceman electric crossover, the new Countryman will grow as Mini tries to stop losing customers who need larger vehicles.
Sharing the FAAR platform with the third-generation BMW X1 (and its iX1 BEV variant), the new Mini Countryman will also look different from the current generation. It will sport a squarer front end, larger front and rear overhangs, and it will look more rugged overall.
The front end will feature similar cues to the Cooper Electric and Aceman, including a more angular interpretation of Mini's new bulbous headlights.
As for what's underneath the sheetmetal, Mini's CEO said the Countryman EV will offer two battery choices, 54 kilowatt-hours in the Countryman E base model and 64 kWh in the range-topping Countryman SE.
Gallery: 2023 Mini Countryman teaser images
The entry-level E model will feature 188 bhp from a single-motor powertrain, while the SE will have 268 bhp from a dual-motor AWD setup. As before, the Countryman will remain the only Mini model to offer four-wheel drive – the 2025 Aceman will be FWD-only.
Effectively replacing the outgoing Mini Countryman PHEV, the 2024 Countryman Electric is expected to offer a similar maximum WLTP range of 272 miles as the BMW iX1, although the figure hasn't been confirmed yet.
Interestingly, the Mini Countryman EV will also get a performance-oriented JCW variant offering more power and sharper exterior styling cues.
The next-generation Mini Countryman – BEV and combustion-powered variants alike – will be made at BMW Group's Leipzig plant in Germany starting in late 2023. This will earn it the distinction of the first Mini model to be produced entirely in Germany.
The high-voltage batteries will also come from the plant's own production facilities, with BMW Group recently announcing investments of more than €800 million to expand capacities for e-component production in Leipzig.
The plant will have a future production area of 37 acres (150,000 square metres) for the manufacturing of e-components, with an allocated workforce of more than 1,000 employees by 2024.
Source: Mini via Autocar