Mini is currently testing the next generation Countryman in cold winter conditions and a camouflaged prototype has now been photographed by our spy gurus. The exterior is still well camouflaged, but we can finally get a glimpse of the interior of the completely redesigned SUV.
The British manufacturer has hidden most of the dashboard, but we can already tell that the new Countryman follows a tried and true formula when it comes to the overall layout. There is a large circular screen in the center, with a few buttons and toggle switches for various functions underneath.
Fortunately, there’s a volume control and next to it is a button that says “Experiences”. We’re guessing this is a shortcut to the vehicle’s driving modes, and next to it is the button to start and stop the engine.
Other physical buttons control the hazard lights, rear window defroster and front window defroster. The center console appears to be a floating design with a massive armrest that likely also doubles as a small storage compartment.
There’s a second screen on the dash, which is oval in shape and displays basic driving information. This display is already known from the electric Mini, among other things.
The steering wheel has a familiar design, although we’re assuming this won’t be its final look as it could still be embellished with chrome trim and a more prominent logo in the centre. As a side note, there’s an emergency hammer in the center console, but it obviously won’t be standard equipment.
The new Countryman will share its base with the next-generation BMW X1. The FAAR platform, an evolution of the UKL front-wheel drive architecture, will allow for better packaging which, coupled with the new model’s larger dimensions, will result in more passenger space and a large cargo area.
Arguably the most interesting rumor about the new crossover is that a coupe-style model could be launched. That could mean the paceman will make a comeback after 2023, but it’s too early to confirm that information.