“Spy” photo of a 3rd generation Mini Countryman prototype caught in the wild testing on public roads.

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Mini’s all-important third-generation Countryman, which will play a crucial role in the brand’s pure-electric reinvention, has broken cover on public roads for the first time.

Due in 2023, the big-selling crossover will join the closely related BMW X1 in being offered with a choice of pure-electric and combustion powertrains, and will be built on the same line as its X1 sibling in Leipzig, Germany. The current-generation Countryman is made in the Netherlands under contract by VDL Nedcar.

The SUV duo will move across to an evolved version of the front-driven UKL architecture that underpins the current models. Called FAAR, it can accommodate pure-combustion, hybrid and all-electric powertrains and will provide the basis for the successors to most of the BMW Group’s compact models.

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