The upcoming 2023 MINI Countryman is going to be the first new MINI model based on the new FAAR architecture, which makes it hugely important. MINI’s lineup has been stale for the past few years, to say the least. Its model lineup needs some reinforcements and the first to come is going to be the Countryman, seen here in some new spy photos.
When the MINI Countryman debuts, the big news will be its all-electric model, based on the BMW iX1. This car isn’t that, though. Instead, the car in these photos is an internal combustion version, which will get all the typical BMW Group FAAR engines. There will also be a plug-in hybrid model that’s said to be the most powerful MINI in history.
Its design looks a bit boxier than usual, without a lot of MINI’s typical bubbliness. Though, it could have some body panel fakery, as BMW likes to add false body panels to its test mules, to throw sneaky spy photographers off the scent.
As with all modern cars, the new Countryman is bigger than ever before. It’s based on the new generation BMW X1, which means it gets a slightly longer, wider, taller, and features a longer wheelbase than before. While that’s fine for a BMW, as customers are always looking for more comfort, space, and practicality, MINI fans might be a bit upset about the Countryman’s continued growth. Weight will obviously be up too, but so will interior space and luxury. However, as long as it can retain the driving dynamics and quirky style MINIs are known for, fans might get over its size increase.
The 2023 MINI Countryman will go into production next year and will kick-off the brand’s future. Here’s to hoping it feels more like a Mini than it looks so far.