The refreshed 2021 Mini Countryman has been unveiled online ahead of a late 2020 Australian debut.
The new-look Countryman was last spied in final testing less than a week ago, with next to no camouflage except to the one section we can now see notable changes have been made.
For the 2021 model year, the second-generation 'F60' Countryman – which debuted at the 2016 LA motor show – picks up a new grille garnish that brings it more in line with the look of the regular Cooper range.
The softly hexagonal opening for the grille remains unchanged in shape, but the notched chrome frame has been dropped so that the visual effect is to simplify the face of the 2021 Countryman.
Classic chrome slats run across the grille on regular models, while the Countryman S models are again treated to a sporting mesh design.
The headlights, though largely unchanged in design, are now equipped with LED lighting as standard. The LED day-time running lights include integrated LED indicators, and the fog lights are also upgraded to LED.
At the rear, Mini's Union Jack lighting signature is featured, but it is now reversed out of the red lit background – rather than forming the light design itself.
New bumper designs are also featured, bringing a sportier and more modern look to the Countryman SUV.
Rolling stock includes 16- and 17-inch wheel designs, with the option of bigger 19-inch hoops through the Original Mini Accessories catalogue. The 17-inch wheels are a new Channel Spoke Black design, while the 19-inch options are a new Turnstile Spoke pattern.
Interior tech and trim
Inside, the refreshed Countryman gets a more premium surface finish around the 8.8-inch centre display and control panel, along with a revised layout for various functions.
That display also gets updated Mini Connected features, with new Navigation Plus options, enhanced Intelligent Emergency services connectivity and Amazon Alexa integration – following its earlier addition to BMW models.
The standout feature, although not standard equipment, is availability of a new 5.0-inch instrument display behind the steering wheel with the usual gauges, meters and communications interfaces.
Engines: Two petrol, one petrol-electric hybrid, and no more diesels
Three powertrains are available with the updated Countryman, each compliant with new Euro 6d emissions regulations.
A 100kW, 220Nm 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine drives the opening Cooper variant, claiming fuel consumption figures between 5.9 and 5.6L/100km, with CO2 emissions between 135g and 129g/km. Mini claims a 0-100km/h time of 9.7 seconds.
The Cooper S is driven by a 131kW, 280Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine, boasting a 0-100km/h time of 7.5 seconds. Fuel use is listed at between 6.5 and 6.3 L/100km, with CO2 emissions at between 148 and 144g/km.
It's worth noting the Cooper S described here is down 10kW, due to the addition of a petrol particulate filter – but Mini Australia tells CarAdvice it is unclear at this stage if local models will be so equipped.
At the top of the range for now is the Countryman Hybrid (known internationally as the SE ALL4), an all-wheel drive plug-in hybrid electric model that first appeared here in 2019.
For the new model year, the Countryman Hybrid gets a new 9.6kWh high-voltage lithium-ion battery (up from 7.6kWh) that boosts its electric driving range from 40km to a new range of between 55 to 61 kilometres.
As before, the Hybrid's powertrain is made up of a 100kW/220Nm 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine with a six-speed automatic transmission, mated to a 65kW/165Nm electric motor.
Mini has previously confirmed combined figures of 165kW and 385Nm, and a 6.8-second run to 100km/h is claimed.
The BMW-owned British marque will go all-in on its electrification focus this year in Australia, with the local line-up waving goodbye to the Cooper D and Cooper SD offered in the current model-year 2020 range.
Although diesel variants will continue to be available in Europe, those versions made up less than 10 per cent of Countryman sales in Australia.
Lastly, the top-shelf John Cooper Works (JCW) model is still to be announced for 2021, but the 225kW/450Nm (0-100km/h 5.1 seconds) MY20 version remains available for the timebeing.
Speaking with CarAdvice today, Mini Australia communications boss Brendan Mok would say only that we should "watch this space" on news for the updated JCW.
It should also be noted that with the removal of the Cooper SD, the Hybrid is now the only all-wheel-drive model in the local range below the JCW.
When will the 2021 Mini Countryman come to Australia?
The updated 2021 Mini Countryman will land in Australia towards the end of 2020. Pricing and specs will be revealed closer to that time.