Mini Countryman: official pics

* Crossover-style Mini planned * Four doors; room for five * To be launched at Geneva show...

Mini Countryman: official pics

Mini has confirmed that the Countryman crossover model will go into production.

It is based on the Beachcomber concept car shown at this year's Detroit motor show, and is designed to bridge the gap between a classic Mini and a 'sports activity vehicle'.

All-new bodystyle, classic Mini features
The Countryman is the first Mini with four passenger doors and a wide-opening rear tailgate, and it can carry up to five passengers.

The high window line and wraparound rear window effect are classic Mini design features as are the large headlights and big wheelarches.

Interior design
It's no MPV, but the Mini Countryman has a slightly elevated driving position that will make access easier, and improve the view out.

Instead of a traditional centre console, the Mini Countryman gets the company's centre rail system, which extends from between the front seats into the back. This can be customised with different storage options, such as cupholders and clip-in elements.

Room for five
Although four seats are standard in the Countryman, a three-seat rear bench can be specified as a no-cost option. The rear seats move forward and backwards individually, or in the case of the bench, in a 60:40 split. They also tilt to help increase luggage capacity in the boot.

Mini engine choices
Three petrol and two diesel engines will be available from launch. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, but petrol engines are also available with an automatic 'box.

Power ranges from 90bhp in the Mini One D Countryman to 184bhp in the Mini Cooper S Countryman.

Efficiency-improving systems include Brake Energy Regeneration to capture and store kinetic energy, an engine stop-start system and a gearshift indicator to help drivers make the most efficient changes.

Four-wheel drive
Both the Mini Cooper S and Cooper D Countryman are available with Mini's ALL4 all-wheel-drive system, which varies the distribution of power between front and back wheels depending on driving conditions.

Stability control is standard on the car, while traction control is standard on the all-wheel-drive versions and optional on others.

Customise your Countryman
As well as new combinations of colours and upholstery to choose from, all Countryman models get air-conditioning, the centre rail storage system and a CD player.

Options include sat-nav, integration for smartphones, a panoramic roof, adaptive headlights, a heated windscreen, a towbar and sports suspension.

When can I get one?
The car is likely to go on sale in September, with prices expected to start from around 17,000.

The car's official launch will be at the Geneva motor show in March.