News : MINI Paceman John Cooper Works unveiled

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

John Cooper Works Paceman (1)

The latest addition to the MINI family is the Paceman John Cooper Works. The 140mph sporting derivative of the Austrian-built Countryman/Paceman will be shown to the public for the first time at the 2013 Detroit motor show, and when it goes on sale in March, it’s expected to start at around £30,000.

The new MINI Paceman derivative shares its engine with the existing Countryman JCW – a 215bhp 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine combined with MINI’s four-wheel drive ALL4 transmission set-up. Torque is rated at 207lb ft  at 1900-5000rpm, but can overboost to 221lb ft for short periods at 2100-4500rpm. The company describes the Paceman JCW as the first Sports Activity Coupé of its type, although at near-Range Rover Evoque money (with considerable overlap when optioned-up), it will be facing some stiff opposition.

The standard transmission is a six-speed manual, but a paddle-controlled six-speed CVT ‘Steptronic’ automatic is optional – and this car’s baseline is expected to be more than £30,000 – making this the first MINI to break the £30K barrier as its base-point. Performance figures for the Paceman JCW are 0-62 mph in 6.9 seconds (it’s the same for the manual or Steptronic) with maximum speeds of 140mph/139mph depending on the gearbox (the Steptronic is the slower of the two). Fuel consumption is 38.2mpg (35.8mpg for the Steptronic) and CO2 emissions 172g/km (184gkm).

Suspension and damping changes are extensive. Suspension has been lowered by 10mm-lower and the stability control system also receives an interesting new DTC mode, which means that keen drivers can exploit the ALL4’s rear-biased torque-split (it can send 100 per cent of its torque to the rear wheels if necessary).

The Paceman JCW’s interior has been restricted to four seats only, and the it’s a joy if you’re a fan of red-detailing. The sports steering wheel features red contrast stitching and John Cooper Works logo, and that’s matched by red contrast stitching for the gear gaiter and floor mats. Lounge Leather sports seats in Carbon Black Championship Red are available as an option. Standard Piano Black interior trim strips finish off the strong red/black theme.

Outside, the red/black is likely to divide opinions, especially the fat, twin-stripes that run along the length of the car, beginning at the bonnet The aerodynamic kit is also quite prominent – so there are new front and rear aprons as well as side skirts. The Chili Red shade in these pictures is reserved for the John Cooper Works model only.

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

34 Comments

  1. I’m going to pick up one of my springer spaniels turds up and send it to MINI for evaluation for a special edition Paceman.

  2. I’m trying to think of something really insulting to say about this car, but I can’t quite think of anything robust enough. I’ll let you know when I think of something.

  3. I think BMW have gone too far now with milking the Bini. It’s not even British, just a Steyr Puch in an ugly suit.

  4. @6, Simon_H,

    I can’t be bothered either to come up with a suitable insult for this festering turd with stick-on ‘go faster’ stripes.

    Even BMW’s own Chris Bangle couldn’t have made it any uglier.

  5. The best of that car is that it is made in Austria! That means the built quality is a little better than BMW standard and the four wheel drive was engineered by Steyr Puch will tell us that it is the best you could get, but the price is so far away from the manufacturing costs that it really hurts!
    The styling is different to many other cars and I think it is not always the best to make everything different.
    At some cars the styling hurts but at that car it could kill you!

  6. It does seem that we all hate this car. I actually hope it is a flop, and sends signals out to those in Munich to give it a bloody rest with the Bini franchise

  7. It does seem that we all hate this car. I actually hope it is a flop, and sends signals out to those in Munich to give it a bloody rest with the Bini franchise

  8. Its a car Jimmy Saville would have bought,and what Gary Glitter will buy-all that room in the back for booster seats!

  9. I think it’s lovely. Where do I sign?

    Sorry, did someone call: nurse?

    Most amusing thing is, a couple that live near me have traded their 2001 Silver MINI (R50) in for a Silver C o untryman. One car was once considered a bloated pastiche of the original.

    Strangely the R50 looks like a pert little baby of a thing compared to the Austrian built monstrosity with a face only a mother could love.

  10. I think the Paceman is one derivative too far. The more coupe like style is at odds with the Countryman’s height, bulk.
    The front styling verges on the ugly – just compare it to that of a Mini!! The rear is maybe not quite so ugly but does not echo Mini in the least – a mistake I think.

  11. To be fair, it’s not as goppingly ugly as the Countryman, it’s merely hideous; just think of it as a Countryman that has has its looks hugely improved by spending two minutes in the car crusher.

  12. We have no need to like this as it brings no money into the UK other than VAT paid on sales, and does not pay wages to UK workers.
    Political bollocks aside, it is yet another insult to the Mini name, and to think BMH (at BMW’s behest) took legal action against parts companies that used the ‘Mini’ word in their business names, apparently to ‘protect’ the brand.
    Draw your own conclusions on THAT one……

  13. Losing track (and interest) at an alarming rate of these new Mini variants.
    There seems to be a new one out nearly every month now…

    Fashion in a bottle to be consumed one day, and discarded the next.
    The original Bini was and still is a masterpiece, however all the other offshoots are just pointless, shallow, and somehow lacking any soul.

  14. @22 No, please continue to report on them, this site benefits hugely from talking about a range of new cars, rather than just one or two, even if some of them might be reviled and their UK content highly questionable.

    @25 As much as it pains me to stand up for this hideous monstrosity from Austria, BMW have a substantial engine plant in Hams Hall, Birmingham, building the engines for these cars which, ironically, gives this Quasimodo of a car a much higher UK content than their Chinese counterparts leaving Longbridge!

  15. Like it or not the MINI Paceman, like the Countryman already, will sell well in the USA now MINI’s biggest market. The Countryman is also reported selling well in the UK as are all makes of compact SUV’s at present…….

    I wonder what the comments would be on here if BMW had produced the Nissan Juke compact SUV?

    Quote:
    “MINI USA reported the best August ever with sales of 5,718 automobiles, an increase of 83.9 percent from the 3,109 sold in August, 2011. What’s driving this increase? The volume leaders are (as expected) the R56 hardtop and the R60 Countryman. In fact the Countryman broke the 2,000 unit barrier for a month in August which would have normally surpassed hardtop sales if it wasn’t for an almost 50% increase of sales for MINI’s stalwart model.”
    http://www.motoringfile.com/2012/09/04/mini-usa-sales-up-a-shocking-84-for-august/

  16. Interesting MF article on BMW (see link below)

    Can BMW & MINI Sell More Without Selling Out?
    http://www.motoringfile.com/2012/06/15/opinion-can-bmw-mini-sell-more-without-selling-out/

    “Back in 2002, BMW and MINI produced only a handful of models; the 3, 5 and 7 series, X5, Z4 and of course the MINI hatch. With the current model line-up that seems like an eternity ago but in reality we are only a decade removed from it. At that time, the new to the market MINI and the high-end Rolls Royce brands each featured only a single body style a piece. While simpler, things were not all rosy. BMW had reached a sales plateau and supplier parts pricing was through the roof, making profit margins slim. Anything but ideal for an independent manufacturer.

    After BMW’s failure with Range Rover and the monetary loss due to its sale- it looked like the company was on the brink of collapse or worse yet, being swallowed by a competitor. The board of management made some decisions that would shape the future of the BMW and the group as a whole, allowing each brand to remain, and for the BMW Group to continue to be independent. Of the three MINI was perhaps the biggest gamble. Opinions were wildly split inside BMW at the time as to whether to move forward with the brand or sell just months before it’s 2001 re-launch. The former group won out and in the time since MINI has become an indispensable part of the BMW Group. But that doesn’t mean the BMW Group as a whole is guaranteed to survive long-term with it’s current sales.”

  17. An interesting article, thanks for the link.

    To expand sales by diversifying into new markets, while staying true to the original brand values statement works very well with the MINI and the Countryman/Paceman.

    The original Mini was simply designed to meet a set of design criteria and was never styled to be a good looking car. So, there’s no reason why any replacement should be good looking to meet the original brand values.

    To appeal to the widest possible selection of buyers, why not make a reasonable looking one and a hideous one? The fact that 2,000 Americans bought Countrymans in August either means that their showrooms are either very badly lit, or they actually like that kind of thing! Either way, that’s 2,000 sales that they’ve probably taken from whatever the current equivalent to the Pontiac Aztec is 😉

  18. Its interesting to see BMW making a 4 series now in addition to pointless X6 and 5 GT models,and this model saturation is well under way at MINI,the groups philosophy way well be give customers choice,but it may also put people off.OK,2000 Americans bought the countryman?how big is the population?

  19. Bear in mind the classic Mini was relatively unknown in the USA since 1960’s so the current MINI brand has built its USA market as No.1 in only 10 years…..now its their biggest market worldwide…so maybe 2000 Countryman’s a month now anbd growing so future potential must be huge if/when production could meet it?

    Are Nisan Juke showrooms also badly lit or are some of us just out of touch with current SUV styling preferences?

  20. The Juke is ugly, but it’s also like nothing we’ve seen before and someone has put a lot of skill, thought and original thinking into making it so nasty, so all credit to the design team for the misguided use of their considerable talents.

    The Countryman shows no such original thinking.

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