Mini Countryman Photos Leaked Before Geneva Debut
As we reported last month, the upcoming Mini crossover will indeed go by the Countryman moniker when it arrives in production form at the Geneva Motor Show. But with the recent leak of three images of the new all-wheel-drive, four-door Mini, you won't have to wait until Geneva to catch your first glimpse of the Countryman.
We saw our first taste of the Countryman when the Mini Crossover Concept debuted at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. That car added over two inches to the Mini Clubman's stretched wheelbase, along with an all-wheel drive layout that is based on the rear-drive platform of the BMW 1 Series. Later, we spotted Countryman prototypes roaming the Nurburgring, hammering out suspension and drivetrain tuning details. Then, in Detroit last week, the Beachcomber concept was shown, featuring some wild styling changes that spoke more to a dune buggy theme than that of a crossover vehicle.
From the photos shown here, depicting a Cooper S version of the Countryman, we can see that many of the Crossover Concept's styling cues have been left intact. The Countryman appears pretty much how we'd expect a stretched four-door Mini to look, and keeps its proportions well through the enlargement. The interior is standard Mini fare, with a bank of toggle switches and plenty of retro appeal. The typical Cooper S tweaks are seen on the pictured car, including more aggressive looking wheels, twin exhaust tips, and sporty front and rear fascias.
For those who love anticipation, there's still plenty more rumor and speculation to hold one's breath over. For example, while we can expect a standard 1.6L engine to power a base model (with a supercharged version likely power 'S' trim models), will a bigger engine be in-store for a higher tuned Countryman? With a beefier all-wheel drive 1 Series drivetrain, a larger engine and more horsepower could be in the works. Rumors also persist that the Countryman will enter the World Rally Championship in the coming years.
We still don't know just when the Countryman will arrive in U.S. showrooms, but we'd expect a hefty price premium over the Mini Clubman - even heftier than the premium the Clubman takes on the regular Cooper.