The all-wheel-drive Mini John Cooper Works Paceman will be officially launched at January’s North American auto show in Detroit – and reach South Africa in June 2013.It’s an out-and-out performance model based on what Mini claims as the first compact sports activity coupe and has four individual bucket seats; the 1598cc turbo BMW engine puts out 160kW/280Nm (with 10Nm extra on over-boost) and the aero-kitted package rides on 18” black alloy rims bolted to a lowered sports suspension.SEVENTH IN JCW RANGE“The overall concept of the first sports activity coupe in its class,” the Minimen says, “gives it an immediate, show-stealing impact. The car transfers power to the road with poise and assurance through all-wheel-drive.”The Paceman is the seventh JCW model to join the Mini range and comes with a six-speed manual or six-speed auto gearbox with sub-seven second times to 100km/h and EU-tested average fuel consumption of 7.4 litres/100km (auto 7.9). The auto can be overridden by the gear-shifter or steering-wheel paddles.Image galleryTop speed is around 225km/h and average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle is 7.4 litres/100km (auto 7.9) with CO2 emissions at 172g/km (auto 184).Standard spec includes an aero kit, the 18” alloys, sports exhaust with chromed tail pipes and JCW logos on the door sills. White, black or red paint can be specified for the roof and external mirrors; accents such as red interior trim strips are available for the cabin.'TRACTION-LED HANDLING'The ‘ALL4’ all-wheel-drive uses an electromagnetic centre differential to distribute drive between the front and rear wheels: torque is always sent to the wheels where it can be translated most effectively into forward propulsion. In normal driving ALL4 can send a maximum 50% of the engine’s power to the rear wheels, rising to as much as 100% in extreme conditions.“This provides a traction-led expression of the handling talents for which Mini is famed,” BMW says, “whatever the weather and road conditions. The control electronics are integrated with the dynamic stability control management unit which gives ALL4 extremely short response times and allows it to carry out proactive adjustments in the distribution of drive.”The cars’ wheel/suspension technology involves front Macpherson struts, central-arm rear support, electric power steering and “extremely high-performance” brakes. The sports suspension also has stronger anti-roll bars and has been lowered by 10mm. Stability/traction control is standard.SPORTS STEERINGNine exterior finishes, including the red shade exclusive to JCW, are available along with a contrast-colour roof, exterior mirror caps and sport stripes. The sports steering wheel has red stitching and a JCW logo; the instrument panel has dark dials for the 260km/h speedometer and rev counter. There’s also contrast stitching on the gear-shifter and mats.Black-and-red “lounge-leather” sports seats are an option but “piano black” cabin trim strips, Mini says, add finishing touches to the racing-inspired aura inside the Paceman.Red elements for the cabin and doors and a red stripe for the black trim strips on the centre console are final options.