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Monday 17th September 2012


MINI PACEMAN SLOPES IN

Countryman coupe available from March next year, costs from £19k

Following a few leaked pictures last week, here are the official images from Mini of the new Paceman.


When it reaches Britain in the spring next year, the Paceman will be the seventh BMW Mini product. To avoid any confusion, Mini describes the Paceman as "a coupé interpretation of the Countryman". Who needs such a vehicle? Well, apparently it's "a new type of design-conscious customer". Presumably they weren't looking for these people with the Countryman.

Black my (roof) pitch up
Black my (roof) pitch up
From the outside, Mini has attempted to accentuate the coupé design themes with blacked-out C pillars and wider rear lights. It's hardly a classic coupé design, but it's certainly more aesthetically appealing than the Countryman.

The Paceman is lower than the Countryman too. What that will do for comfort, not a known strength of the Countryman, remains to be seen. Interestingly, Mini is offering conventional suspension and ride height as a no-cost option. With the standard, lowered setup being described as "dynamic", perhaps the regular ride height might be advisable.

Inside, the fiour-seater Paceman cabin is divided by the Centre Rail storage and attachment system first seen in the Countryman. The familiar Mini design themes (oversized speedo, toggle switches) continue. Perhaps the most significant interior change sees the electric window switches move from the centre console to the door, about ten years too late but still welcome.

The wonders of the wide-angle lens
The wonders of the wide-angle lens
Mechanically, the Paceman is every inch a Countryman Coupé. It will be offered with four engines from the hatch, two petrol and two diesel. The Cooper and Cooper S petrol are both 1.6-litres, producing 122 and 184hp respectively. The diesel options are a 1.6 with 112hp in the Cooper D and a 143hp 2.0-litre in the Cooper SD. 4WD is available on Cooper D, Cooper SD and Cooper S models. A JCW derivative is also in the pipeline.

Sales of the Mini Paceman begin in Britain on 16th March 2013, with the basic Paceman Cooper set to cost £18,970. This makes the entry-level Paceman £940 more than the equivalent Countryman. Of course, the usual plethora of customisation options will be available, which means very few sub-£20k Pacemans are likely to leave Mini dealers.

The Countryman, Coupé and now the Paceman show a Mini brand that is diversifying and moving away from its core product. How much more can they do?

Must remember to post that letter
Must remember to post that letter

600bhp model will be called Pacemaker
600bhp model will be called Pacemaker

 

 

Author: Matt Bird