Exclusive: MINI Paceman to Be a Two Door

We were led astray and we were wrong. Back in the glory days of early 2012 we proudly proclaimed that the MINI Paceman would include two club doors a la the Clubman. Sources on both sides of the Atlantc told us that MINI was testing the Paceman with two rear-hinged doors that would likely make production. However something changed. Whether it was proposed cost, or simple complexity or increase weight, we won’t be getting them. Instead we can now officially confirm that the Paceman will be a two door plus a normal hatch. This via the head of MINI Product development in the US, Patrick McKenna while at MINI Takes the States.

What else do we know? Read on…

The Launch

Look for the Paceman to make a digital launch followed by a public debut in Paris this September. Production should commence in Austria this September with deliveries in the US likely around the end of the year.


The R61 will be offered with the full gamut of Countryman colors, each will have a unique color that will be featured on launch cars seen in the press and on dealer lots.

The Cooper will be offered with Copper metallic – a deep orange. The Cooper S will be available with the exclusive Starlight blue metallic which is similar to Laser Blue. Launch cars will come exclusively with those two colors and a set interior color combination for both. However unlike the Countryman launch cars, dealers will be able to modify other options available on the cars.

A GP Paceman?

It’s years away but a couple of sources have told us that MINI is considering spreading the GP line-up to the Paceman in the coming years. On the Countryman it’s a little questionable. But on the lighter and lower Paceman, it makes sense as the ultimate all-wheel drive fast MINI.

  • b-

    This is good news for weight savings!

    I have a question, with all the technology you have on the road and with nothing to do but drive during MTTS why are there not more live updates and pictures of the trip? Certainly you have some down time as a passenger to upload some pictures to Flickr or to tweet some pictures of say, the Clubvan.

    • There have been lots of updates on the WRR Facebook page and Twitter feed. Then we’re posting the big stuff here on MF. Tune into those channels for more up-to-the-minute action.

    • Bob Hayhurst

      I can’t speak for any one else but myself, but I’m having a great time on MTTS ’12. DB’s right. W/ a single person in the car it’s tough (though fun) to drive, navigate, take in the scenery AND use all that great technology. My hats off to him and Todd for doing the route and posting updates…

  • db

    Hey B-

    We are by ourselves in the cars. Our days are starting at 5:00a and ending at midnight or later. We are posting photos and short updates almost hourly when we are stationary to the WhiteRoofRadio Twitter/Instagram/Facebook. You can also search mtts2012 on Twitter to see updates from all of the attendees.

    When we get time to actually sit down and upload photos and type, then we do. Right now, that’s only been about every other day. I’m really sorry that we can’t seem to keep up. But, if you follow along like I mentioned above, you’ll see updates all day long.

    Thanks for the feedback!

  • Is it the same wheel base as the Countryman?

  • BimmerFile_Michael

    The Paceman I saw this past week didn’t have rear doors or rear headroom! I am not sure who will fit in the rear of this thing- maybe the rear seats sit lower to the floor or maybe the roof slope is deceiving. It will be interesting to see how it is received here…

    • jeff

      it would have been received a lot better with a pair of suicide doors.

  • otter

    Brilliant, the direction they seemed to be going in early 2012 was, IMO, not very appealing. Now that it is looking like the production model might just stick to the spirit of the concept my interest has been rekindled. I desperately need a replacement for my Nissan Rogue before the CVT causes me to have an aneurism. The Countryman, in name and appearance just doesn’t do it for me. The Paceman concept has an esthetic edginess that I love where the Countryman looks rather dreary. Unfortunately, the Paceman will likely have the Countryman interior with the silly Mickey Mouse head speedo bezel; but, as long as it’s looks don’t get watered down, performance is equal to or better than the Countryman S and, most importantly, they offer AWD with a manual tranny (which of course they will) I am completely onboard.

  • Countryman Colors: So, no Chili Red again? Or will they wait 6 months after we buy one again? 🙂

  • Aaron

    I’m really looking forward to seeing the new Paceman. All of the muscularity of the Countryman with sleek lines.

    The club doors would have been cool, but if the idea is to keep the exterior sleek, the extra panel gaps needed for the doors would detract from that goal, IMHO.

    I’m also hoping that they can keep the roof line slim (as it is the sketch, above) and move away from the “Oh, look… I’ve got an inverted Boston Whaler on my roof’ look that they have been moving towards (example: Roof stickers on the new GP and the current CM, esp when you have a white roof).

  • Looks like a Big Butt Buick.

  • Aurel

    I am very curious as to how this will be priced …

    • Good question. Since the R56, it seems the price of a “well featured” S or JCW gets precariously closer and closer to that of its bigger cousin the 328i, a car which is substantial quicker while also being larger, more luxurious, containing much better materials and more kit, but still within 2mpg. When I look at the Paceman and think about its competitors, most of the same competitors that the Countryman has come to mind, but there is another British two door CUV that has very similar body lines (dropping roof line, shrinking greenhouse)… the $44k Range Rover Evoque Coupe. It probably won’t be hard to get a JCW Paceman past this price (but should look even more stunning that the already fantastic JCW Countryman).

      • BimmerFile_Michael

        The Evoque is a MUCH better product in terms of fit/finish, looks and drive quality (not to mention AWD) if you are looking for something smaller and more fuel efficient that can be sportier the MINI is the choice. The RR’s diesel option sucks but that is not a US concern anyways.

        The Evogue has won a boat load of awards because it deserves them, it is sensational. MINI can only hope to be considered in that discussion with the Paceman.

  • Yea for the lack of club doors! If you want club doors, that generally supposes you also want to regularly use the back seats and MINI makes the perfect cars for that: the Countryman or the Clubman. Most people that buy any type of “coupe” do so for sleekness, assumed sportiness and greater structural rigidity while back seat egress/headroom is low on the priority list. I’m glad that they recognized their target audience and in the process likely saved on development costs, dropped weight, increased structural rigidity and graced the Paceman with sexier lines. All pluses in my book.

  • veggivet

    Excellent! The back seats in mine will be down all the time, and the lines of the car will be nicer without those suicide doors in the design. The Cooper AWD will replace my 2005 Scion xB as my winter driver, and will be sharing the garage with an R50, an R53, and the Classic ’87 Mini. It will be great not having to give up driving a MINI over the winter!

  • herr26

    It seems the car we thought was the Paceman was actually the MINI Activity Tourer or (M.A.T) a sister vehicle to the BMW Family Activity Sports Tourer (F.A.S.T). Both BMW and MINI have plans for this four-metre long hybrid of an SUV,Touring and MPV but with a serious sporting slant. It will also be the first production BMW with rear hinged doors. The SpaceBox (MINI’s next concept car) is based on the BMW Compactive Sports Tourer but whilst the BMW is aiming at the Mercedes-Benz B-Klasse which is currently running away with the premium market , The MINI aims for a more enlarged Clubman type vehicle aimed at the more stylish individual or indeed a MINI owner who has progressed with family and any customer that just needs extra flexibility. Whilst Austria will help UK Oxford with production. BMW have acquired the old Nedcar plant in Holland which used to produce the Smart ForFour and the Volvo S40/V40 and the Mitsubushi (devoid of) Charisma. BMW plan to use NedCar or Werk NL. As a satelite site for combined MINI/BMW UKL production.