The second-generation MINI Countryman will be bigger than before, with MINI's traditionally quirky and unique styling cues to take a back seat to size and practicality.
Seen cold-weather testing, this stickered-up prototype again confirms that the next Countryman will sport more bulk in the form of a higher roofline and longer wheelbase, though its silhouette will still be recognisably MINI.
Proportionally, expect the new Countryman to be largely identical to the upcoming all-new BMW X1.
The new X1 will switch from a longitudinal engine layout to a more common transverse arrangement, which will see 2WD variants driving the front (rather than rear) wheels and a boost in interior space.
Under the bonnet, we can expect to find the same range of three and four-cylinder engines as the new MINI Cooper, with a 100kW/220Nm 1.5 litre turbo three-pot in the base model and a 141kW/280Nm 2.0 turbo four in the S models.
A 1.5 litre turbo diesel three-cylinder will offer greater efficiency, along with 85kW of power and 270Nm of torque.
The next Countryman will continue to be offered in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, with the latter reserved for the Cooper D, Cooper S and John Cooper Works versions. Six-speed manuals and six-speed autos will also be offered.
It's unclear whether a sportier diesel Cooper SD will continue to be part of the range, though we should get the full picture when the all-new Countrman makes its motor show debut in 2016.
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