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Mini gets creative with Paceman

2010-12-20 10:56

BRAND BUILDER: It's no secret that Mini wants to expand on its product offering, but is the Paceman something we should be looking forward to?

The latest Mini concept may be considered (by its makers) to be the first sports activity coupe in the small premium segment but we’re still a little confused. It’ll be at the 2011 Detroit show in January, though.

The Paceman concept, which could well become another cog in Mini’s brand-building machine, merges the features of the Mini Countryman (launched in South Africa in November 2010), fuses it with some coupe styling – and zaps two doors.

The Paceman concept will have pride-of-place on the Mini stand at the show in January 2011.

JOHN COOPER WORKS POWER

The concept certainly looks like a member of the Mini family with its oversized headlights with their chromed surrounds, distinctive bonnet styling and compact proportions but things look a little different beyond the A pillars.

The concept’s rising waistline and wraparound glass, along with its coupe-like rear, gives it a sportier profile than the Countryman. The latest concept is 4.1m long and 1.8 wide, although the typical short overhangs are said to help the car maintain its go kart-like qualities.

Complementing its more dynamic nature is the Paceman’s use of Mini’s most powerful engine, the 1.6-litre, twin-scroll turbocharged one familiar to John Cooper Works fans and shoehorned into the Paceman’s engine bay where it generates 157kW and 260Nm that, with overboost, pushes the torque to 280Nm for short spurts.

POWER TUBES: Twin pipes for the twin-scroll turbocharged bolted to the the engine.


As with certain Countryman models, the concept rides on Mini’s All4 permanent all-wheel drive that splits torque equally between front and rear under normal driving conditions or everything to the rear wheels in extreme conditions.

Mini claims no decision has been made about a production version of the Paceman but if Mini UK director Jochen Goller’s statements are anything to go by, there’s a strong possibility.

“With the Mini Countryman having already opened up a fascinating new avenue in the expansion of the brand family," he said, "the designers are now tapping in to the potential of its drive technology and flexible space concept to develop additional market opportunities in a coupé.

“The Mini Paceman Concept aims to deliver a particularly emotional driving experience and demonstrates this ability in a style typical of the brand. I believe we are offering clear evidence of how totally new vehicle concepts can still be developed through unconventional creativity."

WHERE'D THE DOORS GO?: The extra cost of the Paceman is the loss of two doors.


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