Another major addition that's rolling out with the Countryman, which will come in base and Countryman S models in the U.S., is Mini's new permanent ALL4 all-wheel-drive system. ALL4 is anchored by an electrohydraulic differential that, like many systems of this type, varies power distribution to the Countryman's wheels depending upon driving conditions. In normal situations, up to 50 percent of power is routed to the rear wheels, and up to 100 percent is available under extreme conditions.

The ALL4 system is augmented by Mini's top-end suspension componentry, including McPherson spring struts and forged track control arms at the front axle further augmented by electric power steering with Servotronic, along with a multi-arm rear setup. The Countryman also comes with standard with stability control, with traction control as either an option or standard on the Cooper S Countryman with ALL4. An electronic limited-slip option is also available depending on the option level.

For the U.S., although U.S. numbers aren't yet available, the Countryman is expected to be powered by Mini's two 1.6-liter gas engines (Europe gets two other diesel and one gas option) which will be similar to what's employed on today's Cooper and Cooper S models -- the base, 122 hp, 1.6-liter I-4 and the turbo variant. The major difference is that the 1.6-liter turbo, which is rated at 184-hp, has been updated and comes with BMW's new twin-scroll turbocharger technology with direct injection and fully variable valve management. Power will be routed through either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic with Steptronic shift option. Mini says brake energy and stop-start systems, a gearshift point indicator, and on-demand management of the engine's ancillary units will also be part of the Countryman package, but at this point, it's unclear whether which of these features will make it to the U.S.-spec model.