New spy photos of the Mini Cooper plug-in hybrid Countryman show the prototype testing on snow-packed roads. The mule is well camouflaged with yellow swirl stickers covering the exterior, but a “Hybrid Test Vehicle” sticker on the door undermines the car’s concealment.
An interior shot gives a glimpse of updates inside, including changes to the gauge set, a circular display in the center stack and a better placement for the iDrive knob.
A photo gallery of the PHEV Countryman prototype can be seen here.
Mini has been tight-lipped about the PHEV Countryman, and hasn’t released any official announcements on the car or even hinted about its future at any of the recent auto shows.
With its five-door design and 162-inch length, the Countryman is Mini’s largest vehicle, bridging into the small crossover category. The company is releasing a mid-year refresh of the gasoline-powered Countryman later this summer (pictured above), with minor changes to the grille, four added exterior colors and updated controls in the center stack. The next generation Countryman is scheduled for 2017, and may possibly launch alongside this PHEV version.
Analysts say the PHEV Countryman’s platform will be based on the BMW 2-Series Active Tourer. The powertrain will most likely be a stepped-down version of the Active Tourer’s 1.5-liter engine. The setup could also be similar, though less powerful, than the 3-series eDrive in the 2016 BMW PHEV 328e, which has an overall output of 245 horsepower.