LA LIVE: 2017 MINI Countryman

The brand new Countryman gets an available plug-in hybrid drivetrain.

MINI has introduced the brand new, second-generation Countryman at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The 2017 Countryman is seven inches longer than the outgoing model, a figure that makes it the biggest car MINI has built in its 57-year long history. The crossover's proportions haven't changed much, but it receives a more chiseled look characterized by sharper headlights, muscular rear haunches, and a more upright rear end. The story is different under the skin, where the Countryman rides on MINI parent company BMW's UKL platform.

Inside, the dashboard's layout echoes the Hardtop and the Clubman. The speedometer has predictably shifted from the center console to right behind the steering wheel in order to clear up space for a a 6.5-inch touch screen that comes standard. The list of standard features also includes a panoramic sunroof, keyless entry, parking sensors, and alloy wheels.

The extra sheet metal allows the Countryman to offer more space for passengers. The cabin has room for five adults, and MINI promises its newest model boasts 30-percent more trunk space than its predecessor.

The Countryman's base engine is MINI's familiar turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine. It provides 134 horsepower at 4,400 rpm and 162 pound-feet of torque at 1,250 rpm. A six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive come standard, but buyers can order all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic gearbox at an extra cost

Next up in the Countryman hierarchy is the S model. It receives a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that delivers 189 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 207 pound-feet of torque at 1,250 rpm. The turbo four is offered with the same transmission options as the triple.

The Countryman also earns the honor of being MINI's first-ever series-produced plug-in model. The drivetrain is made up of MINI's ubiquitous turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine and a compact, 88-horsepower electric motor mounted over the rear axle. The plug-in Countryman is capable of hitting 60 mph from a stop in 6.8 seconds, a figure that makes it the fastest member of the lineup. Alternatively, it's capable of driving on electricity alone for up to 24 miles.

The 2017 MINI Countryman will go on sale in March, and buyers holding out for the plug-in model will need to wait until June. Pricing information will be published in the weeks leading up to the crossover's on-sale date.

Live photos by Brian Williams.

Read more!