These images of the all-new Paceman have been revealed in advance of the Paris motor show unveil – and MINI has confirmed the car is set for UK launch in March 2013. Styled as a coupé interpretation of the Countryman, four versions will be available, including the MINI Cooper S Paceman which will have a 0-60mph of just 7.3 seconds.
It’s the seventh member of the MINI family, and it will sell alongside the Hatch, Clubman, Convertible, Countryman, Coupé and Roadster. The Austrian-built Paceman is built on the Countryman platform, bumper to bumper the car is 4109 mm (4115mm for MINI Cooper S Paceman and Cooper SD Paceman), which makes it almost identical in size to its sibling.
The upright front grille, complete with hexagonal radiator grille and broad chrome surround, gives the Paceman genuine presence. Its coupé-style stretched side profile features long doors, while the blacked-out pillars create a ‘floating’ roof concept, as already seen on the MINI Coupé. Available in either black, white or body colour, the roof gently slopes towards the rear of the car, ending at the integrated spoiler. The horizontal arrangement of the rear lights, which accentuates the car’s width, is a first for MINI.
The Paceman is the only member of the brand’s line-up to be identified by a rear nameplate.The car’s interior has been designed specifically for this model. Its highlight is the innovative rear seat, which has been styled around a lounge concept. Two individual chairs provide generous levels of head, shoulder and knee room with outstanding comfort and support. Armrests have been integrated into the rear trim. A two-section version of the MINI Centre Rail storage and attachment system – first seen in the Countryman – comes as standard. A full-length variant is available as an option.
The Paceman is a strict four-seater, though practicality has not been sacrificed. Folding down the rear seats expands the rear load-carrying capacity from 330 litres to a maximum of 1080 litres. Access is via a large and high-opening tailgate, offering extra practicality for owners. In the front, the raised seating position gives the driver and passenger an excellent view in every direction.
The instrument panel includes many familiar components, including the large round central speedo. However, its black surround and decorative inner rings in high-gloss black or chrome are new, as are the redesigned air vent surrounds. Buttons for the windows, which have been toggle switches below the speedo on every MINI to date, have moved to the door trim panel.
From launch, Paceman customers will have the choice of two petrol and two diesel engines. All come with a six-speed manual gearbox, or the optional six-speed automatic with Steptronic function for manual control. For petrol buyers, the MINI Cooper Paceman features a 1.6-litre 122bhp unit offering a 0-60mph time of 10.4 seconds, fuel economy of 47.1mpg with CO2 emissions of 140 g/km. The MINI Cooper S Paceman uses the same engine, tuned to deliver 184bhp. It will sprint to 60mph in 7.5 seconds. Fuel economy is 46.3mpg and emissions are 143g/km.
The MINI Cooper D Paceman uses a 1.6-litre 112bhp turbocharged engine with a 0-62mph time of 10.8 seconds. It will provide owners with a frugal 64.2mpg fuel economy and 115g/km emissions. The flagship diesel is the MINI Cooper SD Paceman, which gets a 2.0-litre 143bhp engine. Its 0-60mph time is 9.2 seconds. Fuel economy is 61.4mpg with an emissions figure of 122g/km.
For buyers who want the reassuring grip that comes with four-wheel drive, MINI’s ALL4 system is available on the Cooper D, SD and Cooper S Paceman, models. And for those seeking the ultimate in MINI performance and desirability, a John Cooper Works Paceman version is in development.
Under the Paceman’s body shell, sophisticated chassis technology includes MacPherson spring struts and forged cross members at the front axle, a multi-link rear axle and electric power steering with Servotronic function. These combine to provide a sure-footed yet dynamic driving experience. Extra fun can be summoned via the sport button, optional on Cooper and Cooper D, which tweaks the engine’s responses and the power assistance provided by the steering.
Driver aids include Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) as standard across the range, with Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) including Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) on the MINI Cooper S Paceman, Cooper SD Paceman and Cooper D Paceman ALL4. Light alloy wheels in 16in and 17in sizes are standard, with 18in or 19in on the options list.
It will go sale on 16 March 2013 with prices starting at just £18,970 on the road.