Logo



Mystery Countryman Spotted Testing in California

One of our intrepid readers saw this last week on the Pacific California Highway and thought we should have a look. It would appear that MINI is testing some new Countryman variety in California. But with the R60 freshly dropped on dealer lots, what could MINI already be testing behind a BMW X1? The only apparent clue is the fact it has one small tailpipe.

We’ve have a couple theories but the one that seems by far most plausible is that this is one of the first looks at the forthcoming Countryman hybrid destined for a 2013-2014 introduction. The new hybrid has been hinted at before and our sources have dropped some pretty straightforward references to it. Based on our information it will be a plugin hybrid that will pack lithium ion batteries and the naturally aspirated MINI engine. Power figures are pretty foggy at this time but we’d guess it’ll be between the Cooper and Cooper S with an all electric propulsion below certain speeds.

(Full gallery after the break)

Another option could be that we’re the mythical MINI Countryman diesel being tested in the US. It doesn’t seem as likely as the hybrid theory for a couple of reasons. For one we know that MINI will be focusing on the hybrid drivetrain sooner than the diesel in the US. Secondly we all know the long a sorted history of the MINI diesel in the US and we’re not entirely sure MINI USA has solved the various issues with bringing it to market.

Finally could this be MINI testing the new three cylinder engine in the Countryman? With the engine range having less weight, much higher MPG and even more power than the current range it would make sense for the R60 and it’s derivatives to ultimately get a transplant.

One thing we do know is that this is not an early look at the Countryman facelift which isn’t scheduled to hit the market until 2015.

So the question to our MotoringFile reader is simple. Not what do you think it is but what to you hope it is?

Written By: Gabe

  • Scott

    I’m thinking its the new 3 cylinder engine.  I think a hybrid wouldn’t necessarily mean a smaller exhaust pipe. 

  • KLF23

    I know it’s ridiculous, but you asked what I hoped for: I hope that it is just a Countryman shell and there’s actually a Rocketman under there somewhere that they are testing. I hope that they have realized their error and changed focus away from the Countryman. I find myself reading Motoringfile less and less with all the Countryman news.

  • that.guy

    I attach no hopes to anything in the form of a Countryperson. Color me utterly uninterested.

    • jeff

      interested enough to read and post…   :-P

      • that.guy

        Clicked in hoping I might see Countrydude that had been dropped 3″, wheels pushed out at least the same amount with fenders to match, and driven by a twin-turbo 6.

        • MINImofo

          That would be either the CountryYo or the CountryHombre…..

        • that.guy

          CountryHotness

        • that.guy

          CountryHotness

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1205190001 Hunter Pontife

     I don’t quite understand the need for all the cladding with this one. They should just be stealth about it and slap in the new engine or drivetrain; few people would notice things like one small tailpipe, but things become way more obvious with big black plastic over silly things like the taillights. 

  • Jrichard012

    One thing for certain is that the taillights have bee disguised. Otherwise, not a clue.

  • http://twitter.com/fourblades fourblades

     It doesn’t make sense for covering it up… Wouldn’t it be better if they kept the original parts and put new engine inside to test? Did they here the engine noise to see what it was since it looks like they were close enough to it?

  • Erwn

    How about they are just testing something in a covered Countyman from pre-launch? Here in Munich you can sometimes see covered models month before the launch of models. They are just to lazy to remove it, sometimes it’s even not possible.

  • KPH

    Whatever is being tested is combined with a dirt test for black. Nothing new there. Actually a clever idea, make the mule so unattractive people tend to look away.

  • CharlieVictor

    Despite all the articles here on MF about how we’re not getting a diesel in the R56-series cars, I’m hoping that the larger Countryman will let us get the SD in the states.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charise-Mixa/1612751564 Charise Mixa

    :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charise-Mixa/1612751564 Charise Mixa

     At the current gas prices, I hope that whatever it is gets even better mileage than the current line up!

  • Anonymous

     I agree with Charlie – Diesel would be great!!

    It also doesn’t make sense why the rear lights would be covered.  If it’s simply a different engine/power system, why would they need a disguise?  Maybe this is just some guy with his new Countryman trying to stir up rumours on the internet… ;)

  • Mikeytoo

    I see one tailpipe but also something that looks like a cutout for another one on the left side. 

  • Kathy

     Hoping it’s a diesel.  Second choice would be a hybrid.  Looking for higher MPG than what the current Countryman has in the U.S..

  • Kathy

     Also hoping the launch of higher mpg Countryman coincides with the availability of the bench seat in September.  Too much to ask for?

  • Kathy

     Also hoping the launch of higher mpg Countryman coincides with the availability of the bench seat in September.  Too much to ask for?

  • mnicpt

     Could it be partially hydrogen powered?


Sort by MINI model

MotoringFile on Instagram








MINI Model Cheat Sheet

1st Gen MINI
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R55: Clubman
R56: Hatch
R57: Convertible
R58: Coupe
R59: Roadster
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F54: Clubman
F55: Five Door Hatch
F56: Hatch
F57: Convertible
F60: MINI Crossover
F58: Traveller

Advertise with MotoringFile

If you or your company are interested in advertising on the most influential MINI website in the world, please visit our Advertising section. If you have further questions about becoming a sponsor or would like to see our rate sheet please feel free to contact us directly.
mini mini
Translate MotoringFile with Google: 
 

BF

MotoringFile Buyers Guides

R50 ('02-'06 MC) Buyers Guide
R53 ('02-'06 MCS) Buyers Guide

BF

SF



MotoringFile Reviews

Reviews:
'12 JCW Coupe
'11 Fiat 500 Sport
'11 Tesla Roaster 2.5 '11 Countryman Comparo
'11 Cooper S Hatch
'11 Countryman MCS (FWD)
'11 Countryman MC (auto)
'10 Mayfair MCS (auto)
'11 Countryman MCS (ALL4)
'10 MINI E
'10 Tesla Roadster Sport
'09 Cooper S Convertible
'09 JCW Hatch
'09 JCW Clubman
JCW Stage I vs JCW Stage II
'08 Clubman S (Auto)
1st Drive: '08 MINI Clubman
'08 Smart Fourtwo
Comparison: '08 BMW 135i
'06 R53 MCS vs '07 R56 MCS
'07 R56 JCW (Stage 1)
'07 MINI Cooper S Long Term
'07 BMW Z4 M Coupe
'07 MINI Cooper & Cooper S
Audio: '07 MC/MCS at the Track
'06 JCW GP Long term
Reader Review: JCW GP
'06 JCW Cooper S Long Term
Comparison: '06 Lotus Elise
Comparison: '06 Mazda MX5
Comparison: '06 UK Focus ST
Comparison: '06 Civic Si
Comparison: '04 TVR T350
Comparison: '06 Nissan 350z
Comparison: '06 VW GTI w/DSG
Podcast: Cooper S Auto
Podcast: BMW 325i
Podcast: JCW MC Soundkit
'04 JCW MINI Cooper Tuning Kit
'05 MCS: One Month Review
'05 MCS Auto
'05 JCW S 1st Drive
'05 MINI Cooper
'05 MCS Conv. Long Term
'05 MINI Cooper S
'05 MCS Cabrio 1st Drive
'04 JCW MCS First Drive
'04 MC w/JCW Tuning Kit
BMW M3 SMG Vs. MCS
'04 MINI Cooper CVT
'02 MCS 3 year Review
Autocrossing the MINI Range


cafepress