Spied! Plug-in Hybrid Mini Countryman high altitude testing

Image Credit: TFL reader Ben O.

Above is one of the first shots we’ve seen of the upcoming Mini Countryman testing in Colorado. Manufacturers often test new vehicles in the Rocky Mountains to collect data on their high altitude performance, so images of this are not exactly rare. Thanks to TFL reader Ben O. – and the sticker on the passenger side door – we know this Countryman is a hybrid. It is actually most likely a plug-in hybrid based on other spy shots of the car that have been popping up.

Reports suggest the next Countryman plug-in hybrid may debut as a 2018 or 2019 model. While this profile shot doesn’t tell us much about the design of the car, it does appear larger than the current Countryman. We can also deduct Mini will continue to offer roofs and mirrors that are non-body-colored.

Rumor has it the powertrain will consist of a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder gas engine paired to an electric motor or motors. It could also borrow a powerplant from parent company BMW. The 330e has a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and Lithium-ion-powered electric motor that has a total combined output of 248 horsepower. The 330e is rated at 72 MPGe and goes from 0-60 mph in under 6 seconds, according to BMW. If the Countryman could achieve similar numbers, it would make for quite a fun little AWD car.

Late to the party, Mini is one of the few major companies that currently does not have a hybrid in its lineup. Until the details are officially released about the newest Countryman, check out the video below of a plug-in hybrid from Mini’s parent company, BMW.