Press Report : MINI’s Paceman Concept confirmed for production

Arlena Sawyers, Automotive News Europe, 11th January, 2011

MINI Paceman confirmed for production
MINI Paceman confirmed for production

MINI will build a production version of the Paceman Concept vehicle which has just been unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show, said Ian Robertson, member of BMW AG’s board.

Robertson said the vehicle will debut sometime after the Countryman Coupe that will go on sale later this year and the Roadster, which is to go on sale in 2012. The Paceman is built on the Countryman platform.

‘We’ will take this car into engineering now and over the next few months we’ll firm up the exact launch date for it,” Robertson said of the Paceman. He said the production version won’t be exactly the same but ‘you’ll find the resemblance very, very strong.”

MINI introduced Paceman as it celebrated the 10th Anniversary of MINI’s relaunch. Dubbed a ‘Sports Activity Coupe’, the Paceman is a two-door, four seater. Robertson said it is too early to predict how many Pacemans MINI will sell. He said he believes the Paceman will find an audience among buyers who are interested in four-wheel drive, but wants a sport coupe product rather than a four-door sedan.

Robertson said MINI expects sell more vehicles in 2011 than in 2010 but would not give a target. MINI sold about 45,000 vehicles in the U.S. in 2010. He added: ‘I’m convinced the 2011 will be another record year for the MINI product line.”

[Source: Automotive News Europe]

Clive Goldthorp


  1. Fantastic news – the Paceman is a throw back to the past MINI variants and is evidence that BMW are looking to the past for inspiration. That’s no bad thing – I hope that they revive a Clubman front or the 1275GT.

  2. I think the regulations that required the mods to the Mk1 Bini (raised bonnet height) might rule out a Clubman/1275GT front end for this car and would probably make it look really weird.

    A nice idea though and perhaps, at some point, even a homage to the Elf/Hornet grille would be interesting…

  3. What a stupid name – this car will be known by everyone as the PAC-MAN and everyone will laugh at it (and the people in them).

  4. I quite like the look of that, despite being an ardent non-fan of the whole BMW BINI concept – a Stewart & Arden Sprint for the modern age, anyone?

  5. What is the point?

    This is no more than a slightly squashed version of a bloated hatchback named after a mid-late 20th Century economy car.

    I’m not impressed.

    A Clubman-style grille would, at least give, it some identity. Could it not be done within the raised bonnet regulations? I’m thinking of something similar to the new Chevrolet Camaro.

  6. The Paceman is so similar to the Evoque that MINI now seem to be competing with Land Rover – a step too far from the original concept?

  7. I think that, if the Countryman had looked like this, it would be more appealing.

    However, one sentence in the above article worries me: “Robertson said he believes the Paceman will find an audience among buyers interested in a four-wheel drive, but want a sport coupe product rather than a four-door sedan.” I am sure Suzuki’s marketing team was thinking the same thing when they produced the unfortunate X-90 (a car with two doors and T-tops mounted on a Vitara platform) in the mid-1990s.

  8. @Will
    I totally agree with you. What a ghastly object. It’ll sell of course. What grates is pretending that it draws on some Mini heritage when that original car meant something completely different.

  9. @Will

    You’re both dead right. I think that, by using the heritage to flog a sort of “funky” car that could never be a BMW, MINI is just being used as a vehicle with which to fight VW – the Paceman is really just a BMW MINI Scirocco.

    Oh, and as for Four Wheel Drive, I can’t really see that adding to the light on the feet feel which MINI owners like.

  10. @Will
    I’m not sure, Will. The vision in my head was of a weird looking front end with headlights at a similar proportionate height to those on the Fiat Multipla!!!!!! There would be quite a gap below the grille and I’d hate to see what they would do with that…

    I still think the Elf/Hornet grille might work! :-).

  11. Hmm… The Paceman doesn’t really do anything for me – to be honest, I don’t really see the point of it. I have a feeling it might eat into other MINI sales elsewhere.

    I do not like the look of it at all although I will admit that it’s vastly better looking than the dreadful Countryman! Maybe that’s what it is – just a 3-door Countryman. I just don’t see the point!

  12. Erm… Desparate to invent new niches? Typical BMW… They remade the old ‘exectutive hatchback’ in the vein of the old SD1 and it isn’t selling. Audi followed suit…

    The Paceman looks ugly – it will be bought by people with no taste or sense and on finance, just as the economy is really going to get worse…

  13. That’s very nasty – and pointless. BMW have tried a similar trick in the executive market with the X6 – a smaller, more cramped and exceedingly ugly coupe version of the X5 – and the expected market demand doesn’t seem to be there.

    I find myself compulsively drawn to point and laugh at X6 owners whenever I see one – most of them don’t appreciate that having paid £50k for their fashion trinket.

    Indeed, at the end of the day, that’s all the Paceman is: a cynical marketing exercise. That’s why it will probably sell like hot cakes to the sheep who buy that kind of car.

  14. I reckon that, as a car, this thing is fairly unattractive and inefficient in it’s packaging and performance. My guess is that it would take up more road space than a Renault Scenic and you would never get a settee in it.

    However, it will probably be a hit, driven by those who like to drive German cars very close to the car in front.

    Mini? Don’t make me laugh, my lips are chapped.

  15. Well, apart from the fact that the Paceman has the now familiar, fat MINI face and lights, the rest is just bloated and boxy. People will love it but will probably criticise the MG3 for the same crimes at the same time.

  16. Russ :I like this a lot – it looks like my MG ZR replacement has arrived.

    No, you don’t mean that – an MG ZR is much better looking than this pastiche of an icon. However, if you do sell your ZR my email adress is: I am from Belgium.

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