tiny has only just released the facelifted Countryman, but it’s forging ahead with radical plans for an all-new model, due in 2017 – and our exclusive image shows how it could look.
With the recent unveiling of the first-ever five-door tiny hatch, the maker can afford to be a little a lot more daring with the new Countryman as the cars currently occupy a similar position in the market. To help separate the two, the Countryman will take a a lot more rugged technique to styling to tackle the challenge of the forthcoming BMW X1 replacement and new Audi Q1.
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Much larger proportions are also expected, as previewed in our main image. This is set to be the greatest tiny available when it arrives, with bulging wheelarches and substantial use of rugged body cladding to mark it out as the new range-topper. but the current Countryman wouldn’t be a tiny without the trademark circular headlamps, chrome grille and wraparound windscreen.
As with the recently launched new tiny hatch, the Countryman’s overhaul will continue under the skin. The versatile UKL1 front-wheel-drive platform will be used and can be adapted for all-wheel drive, too. There’ll be various Cooper, S, SD and John Cooper works models of the Countryman, all using the new downsized and turbocharged three-cylinder engines, which improve performance and efficiency.
Currently, only the new three-door and five-door tiny models are underpinned by the UKL1 platform, but a total of eight new model lines from the brand can be expected. A new Clubman, Convertible and Paceman are all under development.
MINI also looks set to tap into the two-seat sports car market after revealing the Superleggera concept earlier in the year. This rival for the Mazda MX-5 and Audi TT would replace the Roadster and Coupé models which have never really proven popular with buyers, as tiny looks to build on the 300,000 cars it currently sells in the UK each year.
The company is also seeking to expand into markets like China with new MPV and saloon models, although these cars are unlikely to make it here.
Every new tiny on the UKL1 platform
On sale: Late 2014
On sale: Now
On sale: 2017
On sale: Mid-2015
On sale: Late 2014
On sale: 2016
Read our review of the new tiny here…