The 2019 Countryman is the largest Mini ever – and also the first with a hybrid setup.
The first Mini, built in 1959, definitely lived up to its name. It measured in at 3 metres long. Compare that to the current Mini Cooper, which stretches out to 4 metres (with a four-door configuration), and that's a serious growth spurt for a brand that prided itself on building small cars. But don't expect anything to change.
More monstrous Minis:
In an interview with the Australian publication CarAdvice, Florian Nissl, head of exterior design, said that Mini cars could get bigger, making for the ultimate oxymoron. "Being a customer of cars myself I have these memories of the cars I used to drive, like 15 maybe almost 20 years ago, and [I don't] necessarily want to have this experience again," said Nissli in the interview. "[Today] those cars are bigger and also much more safe."
The 2019 Countryman – the most expansive Mini to date – is 4.3 metres long and 1.55 metres tall. It's a whole 7.6 cm longer than the previous generation, and part of its marketing included the slogan, "our biggest Mini yet." But fans of small cars shouldn't be discouraged; though Mini might be growing its lineup of, its look will stay iconic.
"Then I also think that once you get familiar with the idea that Mini is a brand that doesn't necessarily offer cars that are 'mini' because the name says 'Mini', then I think you start to realise, at least that's it for me, that you can do a lot with the brand really because it's very strong from a design point of view. It's very flexible and so on and that's very exciting really," said Nissl.
Take a look at Mini's electric future:
Part of that growth can be contributed, in part, to new forms of energy. The 2019 Countryman is the first Mini to have a plug-in hybrid option, and an electric three-door is on the way. No doubt that model will stretch out more than the current model, too.