Mini plans to begin production of the next-gen Countryman as both an EV and as an internal-combustion model in Leipzig, Germany, in 2024.
The automaker could rely on the powertrain of the BMW iX1, which debuted in Europe last year, for the electric version of the 2025 Countryman.
Mini plans a number of new models in the coming years, including a crossover and another small SUV positioned alongside the Countryman.
Mini has already made known its intention to become an EV-only brand by 2030, but so far we've only seen just a couple of electric models from the brand. That's about to change, as the automaker gets ready to launch an electric version of the Countryman in 2024.
Mini revealed the first image of the battery-electric version of its largest model, giving the EV world a preview of the model we'll see next year. As expected, the Countryman will retain the overall profile and size of the current model, but its design details are bound to be a little different, with rectangular headlights being just one of the changes we could see in the next-gen model.
Also, it will be the first Mini to be produced in Germany, with the Countryman slated to share assembly line space with small BMWs.
"The new Mini Countryman comes off the production line in Leipzig together with the BMW 1 Series, BMW 2 Series Gran Coupé, and BMW 2 Series Active Tourer," the automaker noted. "This makes the location the first plant at which vehicles of the BMW and Mini brands are manufactured together, once again demonstrating maximum flexibility."
What can we expect from the EV version of the Countryman?
We've already received a good hint regarding the Mini's likely powertrain from the electric BMW iX1, which debuted in 2022. The SUV, which is staying on its side of the Atlantic for the moment, is powered by a 64.7-kWh battery, giving the dual-motor, AWD layout 308 hp and 364 lb-ft of torque. The Countryman is expected to borrow this recipe, which in the BMW is good for about 273 miles in the WLTP cycle. Whether the Mini will promise this exact figure is doubtful, but the iX1 could be viewed as a general preview of what the MIni could offer.
Those not ready for the idea of an electric Mini Countryman will still be able to get the gas version, as Mini will offer an internal combustion variant with the debut of the next-gen model, which will arrive for the 2025 model year.
The automaker has not indicated just yet whether the US will receive the electric version, however. We have trouble imagining its parent company keeping the Countryman EV out of the US entirely, which would keep the current Cooper SE as the sole electric offering for a while longer, even as the brand makes noises about going green.
Still, a next-gen electric Cooper is in the work as well.
Speaking of other electric Minis, the automaker hinted at quite a few new models planned for the rest of the decade, including a compact MPV that could resurrect the Traveller nameplate, in addition to a sub-Cooper EV hatchback positioned below the current electric hatch. The basic Cooper hatch itself is also due for a redesign sometime soon, even though the timing of this next-gen model has not been confirmed. Yet another model will be positioned alongside the Countryman but will be offered solely in EV form.
"The future core portfolio of all-electric vehicles will include the Mini 3-Door Hatch, a new crossover model in the small-car segment, and a compact crossover model," the automaker said in October 2020.
While the new crossover Mini referenced at the time was interpreted to refer to an MPV in the style of the well-received Mini Urbanaut concept, perhaps similar to the BMW X2, the compact crossover Mini mentioned was understood to be a companion model to the Countryman, previewed in 2022 by the Aceman concept.
Just how many of these models will be offered stateside is still up in the air, but it shouldn't be too long before Mini buyers will have some choice when it comes to electric models.
Should Mini expand its lineup of small SUVs like the Countryman, or stick to smaller cars? Let us know in the comments below.