Introducing The MINI Paceman
(Friday 14 September 2012)
Heavens - not another new MINI body style? Yes, another new MINI body style. This one is the Paceman, a coupé based on the Countryman platform and foreshadowed by a concept of the same name displayed at the 2011 Detroit Show, and it brings the number of shapes created by the BMW-owned brand up to seven, something that would have been difficult to foresee a decade ago.
Fractionally longer than the Countryman (there's between half an inch and an inch in it, depending on model), the Paceman has slightly less interior space, though with luggage volume of between 330 and 1080 litres, depending on what you do with the rear seats, it's considerably more practical than most other MINIs.
The Countryman underpinnings also mean that the Paceman will be the second MINI to have the option of the ALL4 four-wheel drive. Of the cars available from launch, the Cooper D and SD diesels and the petrol Cooper S will be offered with this, though the less powerful entry-level 122bhp Cooper won't. ALL4 models come with lowered suspension unless the customer doesn't want that, in which the standard set-up can be retained as a free option.
The Paceman also features the Central Rail storage and attachment system introduced in the Countryman, either in two pieces or, at extra cost, full-length. Other standard equipment offered across the range includes six-speed manual transmission (automatic is optional), start/stop, brake energy regeneration, air-conditioning and side curtain airbags.
Among the options not mentioned so far, MINI reckons that the more popular items will be adaptive xenon headlights, park distance control, an electrically operated glass sunroof and satellite navigation. And there's plenty more where they came from.
The Paceman will go on sale in the UK on March 16 next year, priced from £18,970. If you can wait a bit longer than that and are keen on the idea of something even faster than the 0-62mph-in-7.5-seconds Cooper S, a John Cooper Works variant is already in development.