The announcement of the 2016 Clubman is not even one week old and we are already moving on to other news. A little more than a month ago, the F60 Countryman was spotted going strong on the ‘Ring. We’ve already shared plenty of information regarding the next Countryman, but this video gets us one step closer to the official debut of the fourth superhero.

When a prototype undergoes testing on the ‘Ring, it can be anywhere from 0 to 24 months away from being ready for production. And based on the BMW Group lifecycle rule applicable to most models, the new Countryman should be unveiled in the fall of 2017. However, some readers on MotoringFile have argued that MINI could debut this model sooner than anticipated. While we have little information on the matter, let’s reflect on the timeline of the FXX generation.

The Clubman will go on sale in the fall of this year and the Convertible is expected to become available in the spring of 2016. Between early next year and the fall of 2017 there’s no sign of any other model coming out beside the Countryman. Except for variations on the Clubman and Convertible (e.g. JCW, Hybrid), 18 months without a new FXX model seems like a long period of time, even more so during a wave of renewals.

A seven-year lifecycle in an industry where technology is changing so rapidly is perhaps becoming less relevant. Thinking that the interior of the R60 will still be available for the next two years feels like something is out of place, especially next to FXX models. On the other hand, MINI’s rebranding will extend over that same period of time, and having the Countryman associated with this milestone would make for a perfect tipping point.

What do you think? Will the Countryman come out sooner than the fall of 2017 or not?