After seeing the 2023 Mini Countryman in spy photos late last year, we knew the brand known for its diminutive size was going to step up a weight class. A report in car says the hatch will grow about 20 inches, to about 178 inches — just three inches less than the Toyota RAV4. The report also claims that the Countryman 2023 will not only be the longest Mini out there, but also the most powerful. It is said that BMW plans to adopt the same PHEV powertrain as in the 2-series Active Tourer, which combines a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder with a 174 hp electric motor, which produces a combined output of 322 hp and produces 353 pound-feet of torque. Such power would take the upcoming Countryman past today’s Countryman Cooper SE All4, rated at 221 horsepower and 284 lb-ft, and 21 ponies past the Countryman John Cooper Works.
A battery with 14.2 kWh of usable juice borrowed from the 230e xDrive would be a healthy extension of the 18-mile all-electric range provided by the current Mini’s 9.6 kWh battery. Increasing the size of the vehicle allows Mini to maintain the 9.5-gallon gas tank in the current Countryman PHEV, despite the larger battery.
Five more drivetrains would complete the lineup, three of which may come here and bring 30 more ponies over the current picks. The first is a less powerful PHEV that is tuned for 241 horsepower, which may or may not be it in the United States. The next two could replace the engines already offered here. There is a 1.5-litre turbo three-cylinder with 168 hp, which exceeds the now offered 134 hp three-cylinder, and a 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder with 215 hp, which exceeds the 189 hp in the current 2.0-litre surpasses. Both are supported by a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. Other markets that still enjoy diesel grunt can benefit from a 2.0 liter oil burner. And the evolved UKL1 architecture shared with the X1 and X2 will produce a battery-electric Mini, which we’d expect to get US papers at some point.
Spy shooters have captured a prototype with a chunky tailgate spoiler, big rims and quad pipes, so there will be some sort of performance option. However, we don’t know if that prototype was the PHEV, nor if Mini plans to put the JCW moniker on the most powerful PHEV. With Mini already announcing changes to the US 2023 model year lineup, it’s not clear when the new generation will debut here.