The MINI Countryman has been a massive success for the brand. However MINI is determined to maximize both it’s utility and performance in its second generation. The F60 Countryman will grow in size, seats and utility with a larger chassis to be shared with the 2017 BMW X1. Click through for all the details.
The BMW X1 and the Countryman will share the same extended UKL platform. So the X1’s future is now closely tied with the largest MINI. This means we have a window into the future of the Countryman that we hadn’t before. So what does this tell us? For one we know that the next generation X1 will spawn both a two and three row extended wheelbase version originally meant of rate Chinese market. Due to the positive response both internally and in customer clinics, BMW will be bringing the three row seven seat X1 to the rest of the world. Likewise we believe that MINI will due the same with a version of the Countryman with three rows and an extended wheelbase. What it will be called is yet to be determined. But in our minds MINI would be naive not to leverage the brand they’ve built of the Countryman and simply release two versions of the next generation crossover – a five seat and seven seater.
We also know that BMW’s next generation X1 will bring more visual distinction across the range with an “Outdoor” version with thicker wheel arches, more cladding to the underbody and a slightly raised ride height. Similarly the M Sport version will be lower with a much more aggressive look. The question is will MINI follow suit and create the same distinction between trim levels? Given that development costs will be shared across all models it’s certainly doable.
On the performance side things are particularly interesting. The shared development costs should help the performance and refinement of both the Countryman and Paceman models. We know that BMW is currently testing 300hp all wheel drive versions of it’s extended UKL platform. It’s not that much of a stretch to see MINI dropping that engine in a JCW version that redefines MINI performance.
There’s even rumor of a 330hp M Performance version of the X1 in the pipeline. However we expect BMW M to retain exclusivity to that version of the 2.0L. What we can look forward to is a plugin hybrid and diesel model over the course of its lifecycle.
Look for the five seat two row Countryman to debut in the fall of 2017. If MINI produces a three row seven seater we expected it about a year later in 2018.