Rumors about a Mini plug-in hybrid have been swirling for years and the model has apparently been confirmed as MotoringFile has obtained images of the upcoming Countryman E.

Designed to appeal to eco-friendly buyers, the Countryman E will follow in the footsteps of the standard model but be distinguished by unique badging and a charging port on the front fender.

Motivation will reportedly by a high-tech powertrain that consists of a 1.5-liter TwinPower Turbo three-cylinder engine, a rear-mounted electric motor, and a 7.7 kilowatt hour lithium-ion battery pack.  The electric motor will power the rear wheels while the petrol engine will provide motivation to the ones up front via a six-speed Steptronic transmission.

Performance specifications remain unconfirmed but the model will apparently have a combined maximum output of roughly 224 horsepower.  This will reportedly enable the crossover to accelerate from 0-62 miles per hour in around 6.5 seconds.  In terms of efficiency, owners can expect an electric-only range of about of 24 miles and a fuel economy rating of roughly 141.2 miles per gallon.

Nothing is official but Mini has reportedly moved up the model's launch so it could be introduced this summer.  If the rumors pan out, the Countryman E could arrive at dealerships as early as next year.

Source: MotoringFile

Gallery: Mini Countryman E PHEV leaked