It'll be even more powerful than the John Cooper Works GP hatchback.
Loyalists were up in arms when the first Mini Cooper Countryman was revealed to the world in 2010 because the idea of a crossover with larger proportions went against the original model's design philosophy. Regardless of what the fans may have thought, the Countryman has proven to be a highly profitable model that's available with everything from a turbodiesel engine to a high-performance turbo gasoline offering in the JCW-guise depending on the market.
Ushering in the age of electrification was a new Cooper Countryman Plug-in Hybrid offering introduced to the global market last year. This uses the existing 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine in conjunction with a 9.6-kWh battery pack to deliver a combined power output of a respectable 221 horsepower and 284 lb-ft of torque.
As the second-generation Mini Countryman nears the end of its life-cycle to make way for a newer and larger replacement crossover, it is now apparent that the brand will be upping the performance of its future plug-in hybrid model. According to information sourced by Autocar, the next PHEV Countryman will be the most powerful car that the brand has ever created, with a rumored output of 322 hp.
How does it plan on doing this? We already know that the next-generation model will inherit the FAAR configuration of the UKL2 platform that has already been applied to the recently revealed BMW 2 Series Active Tourer. Naturally, it is expected to inherit the same powertrain that is used in the flagship 230e xDrive.
This model retains the three-pot turbocharged gasoline engine but it is now paired to a more powerful electric motor and larger 14.2-kWh battery pack. The result is the aforementioned 322 hp power output with a torque figure of 352 lb-ft. We don't have any performance figures for powerful PHEV but the rumor suggests that it will offer an independent EV range of about 55 miles.
This will be a higher trim in the upcoming Countryman range but there's no intent for the brand to abandon its JCW moniker as the badge moves towards a more electric-biased operation. It is also understood that the PHEV offerings will be expanded to less powerful 241 hp and 168 hp states-of-tune as well as a 2.0-liter four-cylinder model offering 215 hp with the help of a 48-volt mild hybrid system.