After having seen the 2023 Mini Countryman in spy shots late last year, we knew the brand known for diminutive was going to step up a weight class. A report in Autocar says the hatch will grow by an estimated eight inches or so, to about 178 inches — just three short of the Toyota RAV4. The report claims as well that not only will the 2023 Countryman be the longest Mini out there, but the most powerful. Word is BMW plans to apply the same PHEV powertrain as in the 2 Series Active Tourer, which combines a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder with a 174-horsepower electric motor, producing a combined 322 horsepower and 353 pound-feet of torque. Such potency would put the coming Countryman beyond today’s Countryman Cooper S E All4 banging out 221 hp and 284 lb-ft, and 21 ponies past the Countryman John Cooper Works.

A battery with 14.2 kWh of usable juice, borrowed from the 230e xDrive, would make a healthy extension to the 18-mile all-electric range provided by the current Mini’s 9.6-kWh battery. By increasing the vehicle’s dimensions, Mini might be able to retain the 9.5-gallon gas tank in today’s Countryman PHEV, despite the larger battery.

Five more powertrains are said to complete the lineup, three of which might come here bringing 30 extra ponies over the present choices. The first is a less potent PHEV will be tuned to 241 hp., which might or might not make it Stateside. The next two could replace the engines already offered here. There’s a a 1.5-liter turbo three-cylinder with 168-hp, trumping the 134-hp three-cylinder on offer now, and a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder with 215 hp, outdoing the 189-hp in today’s 2.0-liter. Both of those are aided by a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. Other markets that still enjoy diesel grunt can take advantage of a 2.0-liter oil burner. And the evolved UKL1 architecture shared with the X1 and X2 will produce a battery-electric Mini, which we’d expect to get U.S. papers at some point. 

Spy shooters have caught a prototype fitted with a beefy rear hatch spoiler, large rims, and quad pipes, so there will be some kind of performance option. However, we don’t know if that prototype was the PHEV, nor whether Mini plans to put the JCW moniker on the most powerful PHEV. With Mini having already announced changes for the U.S. 2023-model-year lineup, it’s not clear when the new generation will debut here. 

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