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Countryman next stop on Mini journey

Next: Mini's long-wheelbase Countryman will arrive Down Under next year.

Mini’s new Countryman is just the latest addition to Mini’s growing family

10 Aug 2010

THE Cooper hatch and cabrio are now well into their second generation and the Clubman has turned two, but the next all-new Mini model – the Countryman crossover due on sale here in early 2011 – marks the beginning rather than the end of the BMW small-car brand’s most ambitious expansion phase.

Price and engine options have not been announced for Australia’s version of the big new five-door SUV, but BMW has confirmed our Countryman will be available with diesel power, all-wheel drive and a starting price to top the Mini range from around $45,000.

BMW Australia spokesman Piers Scott also told GoAuto the Countryman, which is built in Austria not England – where it is now on sale – will be the first in a series of all-new Mini models to break new ground for the German-owned British brand.

“The Countryman is just the first step into completely new markets for Mini,” he said.

39 center imageLeft: Mini Roadster. Below: Mini Coupe.

“When we bought the brand we bought a car, essentially, and now Mini really is on the cusp of spawning a lot of diversification. Obviously there’s huge potential to grow the database.” Mini has confirmed it will enter the World Rally Championship next year with the Countryman and both the 135kW turbo-petrol Cooper S Countryman and even hotter John Cooper Works version with standard ALL4 drivetrain are likely starters for Australia.

Beyond the R60 Countryman, which is 130mm longer than the Cooper hatch, Mini has already confirmed the Mini Coupe and Roadster concepts that debuted at the 2009 Frankfurt motor show will enter production alongside the Cooper hatch, cabrio and Clubman at Oxford by 2012.

Expect the production Mini Coupe to emerge first in the early part of 2011, followed in 2012 by the Roadster and the MkIII Mini hatch – which will spawn the first front-drive BMW model by around 2014 – while a three-door Canyon crossover could also eventually join the multiplying Mini model line-up.

What’s coming from BMW:
3 Series Coupe facelift August
3 Series Convertible facelift August
Z4 35is convertible late August
X1 sDrive18i September
X1 xDrive25i September
520d and 535i Touring September
Mini Countryman Early 2011
X3 redesign Early 2011
Mini Coupe Mid-2011
1 Series M Coupe Mid-2011
6 Series Convertible Mid-2011
6 Series Coupe Late 2011
M5 redesign Early 2012
1 Series hatch redesign Early 2012
3 Series sedan redesign Early 2012
Mini Roadster 2012
6 Series sedan 2012
Megacity EV 2013
0 Series 2014
Mini hatch MkIII 2014

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