Images of a heavily camouflaged Mini Countryman prototype on public roads confirm the British brand is hard at work on the next iteration of its controversial compact SUV.
The test car wears body panels borrowed from the current Countryman, though a close look reveals a longer bonnet and larger overhangs suggesting the new Countryman will grow even larger than existing 4.1-metre-long model.
The larger exterior dimensions should translate to a more spacious cabin, with additional room for passengers and a bigger boot.
Like the third-generation three-door and all-new five-door Mini hatchbacks, the second-gen Mini Countryman will be based on the UKL platform that is also shared with the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and will underpin the next-generation X1.
The larger grille and wider intakes hint at changes under the bonnet. A range of three- and four-cylinder turbocharged petrol and diesel engines will be available in the new Countryman, along with front- and all-wheel-drive layouts.
The new Mini Countryman has been tipped to reach international showrooms in 2017, seven years after the launch of the original model.