World Debut: MINI Paceman
The latest model variant from MINI is finally here: The MINI Paceman. Put simply, it’s a Countryman Coupe. In fact, that was nearly the Paceman’s official name. Whatever you care to call it, today we get our first full official look at this R60-based three door (dubbed internally as the R61). While photos were accidentally leaked by MINI last week, today’s info gives us every angle of the new car, and we think it looks great. While not all MINI fans are into the R6X cars, we’ve been excited about the Paceman ever since its concept debut two years ago. What we’re seeing today is nearly one-to-one with that concept.
At a glance, the Paceman is easy to understand. It’s basically identical in size to the Countryman. It’s the same engine lineup, the same available All4 system, and the same interior details as the Countryman. But it’s the Paceman’s differences that make it noteworthy. Two fewer doors and a sleeker, more aggressive shape set off a handful of unique exterior details. Most notably, the Paceman has a unique set of rear taillights unlike anything we’ve seen on MINIs to date. These horizontal lights are the first non-island taillights. That is, they’re the first to but up against the seam of the boot lid. Also unique to the Paceman are its a large lettering along the boot lid. Look for more of this type of variant identification as MINI seeks to better differentiate one MINI from another.
Early reports of the Paceman’s driving dynamics are saying it’s come a long way from its divisive, 4-door sibling. The Paceman’s handling and feel are much more sporting and aggressive. We’re imagining that especially in JCW spec, the Paceman will satisfy MINI buyers looking for driving fun, a bit more space and AWD in a 2-door package.
- MINI presents the world’s first Sports Activity Coupé in the premium small and compact vehicle segment; MINI Paceman is the seventh model in the brand family and offers an innovative combination of sporty, extrovert design, hallmark MINI driving fun and an exclusive interior ambience; unique, yet typically MINI, vehicle concept opens up new target groups for the brand’s inimitable style; two doors, large tailgate, lounge concept with two individual seats in the rear.
- Expressive, emotionally powerful body design with prominent horizontal lines and powerfully curved surfaces; dynamic proportions in hallmark MINI design language create superbly sporting impression; sporty and elegant appearance and powerful stature of the MINI Paceman symbolise the innovative combination of go-kart feeling on the road and enhanced versatility through optional all-wheel drive.
- Upright front end exudes power and presence; hexagonal radiator grille with broad chrome surround, black bordering on the lower edge of the body and other typically MINI design elements with an individual touch; coupé-style stretched side profile with long doors, dynamically downward-sloping roofline and greenhouse tapering towards the rear; muscular flared wheel arches; distinctive helmet roof form adapted to the car’s coupé lines with integrated rear spoiler; roof can be specified in body colour, white or black; sloping rear window; rear lights in horizontal arrangement for the first time on a MINI.
- Bespoke interior design creates typically MINI impression; powerfully formed, horizontally structured instrument panel with newly designed surrounds for the air vents; large circular Centre Speedo, also with new surround in black and decorative inner rings in high-gloss black or chrome; surrounds for the central control panel in a contrasting colour; window buttons arranged in the door panel trim; three-dimensional door ellipses reaching into the rear compartment (illumination optional).
- Full-size individual seats in the rear offer high levels of comfort and lateral support, plus generous shoulder room and headroom; legroom optimised through cut-outs in the front seat backrests; integrated armrests in the rear side panel trim; two-section version of the MINI Centre Rail storage and attachment system comes as standard, full-length variant available as an option; variable use of space possible through individually folding rear seat backrests; load capacity: 330 – 1,080 litres.
- Particularly powerful engines and standard lowered sports suspension accentuate the trademark MINI go-kart feeling; regular suspension and ride height are available as a no-cost option; two petrol and two diesel engines offered from launch with an output spread from 82 kW/112 hp to 135 kW/184 hp; MINI John Cooper Works Paceman version is in the pipeline; all variants come with a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic as an option; MINI ALL4 all-wheel-drive system available for the MINI Cooper S Paceman, MINI Cooper SD Paceman and MINI Cooper D Paceman; outstanding efficiency thanks to state-of-the-art powertrain technology and extensive MINIMALISM technology fitted as standard; Sport Button available as an option.
- Sophisticated chassis technology featuring MacPherson spring struts and forged cross members at the front axle, a multi-link rear axle and Electric Power Steering with Servotronic function; Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) as standard, Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) including Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) optional (standard on the MINI Cooper S Paceman, MINI Cooper SD Paceman and MINI Cooper D Paceman ALL4); 16-inch light-alloy wheels as standard (MINI Cooper S Paceman and MINI Cooper SD Paceman: 17-inch); 18-inch or 19-inch light-alloy wheels available as an option.
- Outstanding occupant protection provided by crash-optimised body structure and extensive range of safety equipment; front and side airbags, side curtain airbags, three-point inertia-reel seat belts on all seats, belt tensioners and belt force limiters at the front, ISOFIX child seat attachments in the rear and a run-flat indicator fitted as standard.
- Array of standard equipment includes air conditioning, sports seats for driver and front passenger, Centre Rail and radio MINI CD; high-quality items of optional equipment and wide variety of individualisation options in typical MINI style; selection includes xenon Adaptive Headlights, rain sensor, Park Distance Control, Comfort Access, electrically operated glass roof and trailer coupling; large choice of exterior paint finishes, bonnet stripes, upholstery variants, interior surfaces and Colour Lines; MINI navigation system, harman/kardon hi-fi loudspeaker system and unique in-car infotainment functions available via MINI Connected.
The MINI brand is once again combining the expansion of its model range with a foray into a new vehicle class. Indeed, the MINI Paceman is the first Sports Activity Coupé in the premium small and compact segment. Its powerful, dynamically stretched coupé lines and hallmark MINI go-kart feeling team up with the exclusive ambience of its variable-usage interior to make the MINI Paceman a pioneer in the urban environment. Sporting prowess and versatility also define the driving characteristics of the MINI Paceman. Four powerful engine variants will be available from launch, and the standard specification of the MINI Paceman will also include lowered sports suspension. This is the second model (after the MINI Countryman), moreover, to offer the option of channelling its engine power to the road through all four wheels.
The seventh model in the MINI family has a character all of its own, while displaying clear ties to the innovative and inimitable style of the British premium brand. Its innovative vehicle concept takes its cues from the needs of modern target groups, who appreciate its confident appearance as much as the infectious driving fun on offer at the wheel. With its two doors and large tailgate, plus two full-size individual rear seats, the MINI Paceman complements the elegant sportiness of its proportions with a new rendering of the familiar MINI interior. The slightly raised seating position in the front of the car provides the driver and front passenger with an excellent view over the road, while the rear passengers enjoy generous levels of space, outstanding lateral support and exceptional comfort in a lounge-style ambience. Folding down the rear seats expands the load capacity of the MINI Paceman from 330 to a maximum 1,080 litres.
The petrol engines available for the MINI Cooper Paceman and MINI Cooper S Paceman and the diesel units in the MINI Cooper D Paceman and MINI Cooper SD Paceman cover an output spread from 82 kW/112 hp to 135 kW/184 hp. All the powerplants link up as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, although a six-speed automatic is available as an option. The MINI ALL4 all-wheel-drive system is offered for the MINI Cooper S Paceman, MINI Cooper SD Paceman and MINI Cooper D Paceman. Plans are in place to add a MINI John Cooper Works Paceman variant to the range in due course.
Design: powerful stature, sporty and elegant coupé lines.
The innovative concept of a compact Sports Activity Coupé is expressed in a body design that combines dynamically stretched proportions with a muscular stance. This authentic embodiment of the MINI Paceman’s multifaceted driving properties is achieved within the template of the established MINI design language. Its inspirational sporting credentials are immediately clear, as is the potential for broadening its range of use with the addition of ALL4 permanent all-wheel drive.
Traditional MINI design cues, such as the black bordering on the lower edge of the body, the side indicator surround on the diagonal link between the A-pillar and front wheel arch, and the clear three-level split of body, passenger compartment and roof, point – in a distinctive Paceman way – to their MINI family ties. The front end, for example, exudes power and presence thanks to its large, distinctively shaped headlights, strikingly sculptured bonnet and upright hexagonal radiator grille, which is framed on the MINI Paceman by a particularly broad chrome surround.
The fresh and individual character of the MINI Paceman comes across most prominently when the car is viewed from the side. Dynamically sweeping lines and powerfully curved surfaces imbue the car’s appearance with sporting elegance. The coupé-style roof, swooping downwards towards the rear, sits almost seamlessly atop the passenger compartment. Its distinctive “helmet” contours fit neatly into the coupé mould, the roofline flowing into the standard rear spoiler. The steadily rising shoulderline and gently downward-sloping roofline create side window surfaces that taper towards the rear, emphasising the wedge shape of the silhouette particularly clearly. The long doors each have a high character line, which connects the front and rear wheel arches and gives the body a lower-slung appearance. The extremely muscular rear wheel arches underline the MINI Paceman’s sporting credentials, including its ability to send a portion of its engine power through the rear wheels.
The most eye-catching new feature of the rear end are the rear lights which, in a first for MINI, display a horizontal design. As with the slim and sloping coupé-style rear window, the chrome strip below it and the horizontal creases on the tailgate and rear apron, the form of the lights further accentuates the car’s width. The concentric segmentation of the light sources in the rear lights is very much in keeping with brand tradition. The same can be said of the rear as a whole, which increases in width as it heads towards the road, drawing attention to the car’s powerful stance. The MINI Paceman is the first member of the brand’s line-up to be identified by a rear nameplate.
Eight exterior paint shades are available for the MINI Paceman, including the new Brilliant Copper, Blazing Red and – exclusively for the MINI Paceman – Starlight Blue variants. The roof and exterior mirror caps can be painted in body colour, white or black.
Interior: exclusive ambience, impressive variability.
A model-specific interpretation of traditional MINI design principles also shapes the look of the interior. The extensive use of horizontal elements champions the cause of sporting elegance. For example, the distinctive door ellipses have an extremely shallow and prominently three-dimensional form and extend back beyond the B-pillars into the rear compartment. The ellipses border the armrests and their integrated door pull recesses. Added to which, for the first time in a MINI the side window controls are integrated into the door trim. If the optional lighting package is specified, the door ellipses are bathed in an atmospheric light.
Matt-finished, ring-shaped borders in Carbon Black emphasise the form of the Centre Speedo and the two air vents positioned alongside it. Decorative inner rings in high-gloss black or optional chrome are integrated as standard into the surrounds for the air vents and Centre Speedo. Positioned below the Centre Speedo, the CD/DVD and air conditioning control panel and toggle switches are bordered in a contrasting colour. Here, the matt black surfaces dovetail appealingly with the chromed controls.
The MINI Paceman has been designed squarely as a four-seater. The slightly raised seating position in the front of the car provides the driver and front passenger with an excellent view over the road. This effect is enhanced by the slightly forward-leaning arrangement of the familiar Centre Speedo. The pair of individual seats in the rear offer impressive shoulder room and headroom, outstanding lateral support and exceptional comfort, while cut-outs in the front seat backrests optimise legroom. The lounge character of the rear compartment is further enhanced by the armrests in the side panels. These are integrated into a circular rear trim element, which matches the colour and material of the seats. The individual seat layout is highlighted by two mouldings in the load compartment cover which extend out from immediately behind the head restraints into the rear.
The standard-fitted Centre Rail storage and attachment system runs from just aft of the gearshift or selector lever on the centre console to its finishing point between the front seats. The second section of the Centre Rail is found between the rear seats and extends up to the partition between the rear compartment and boot area. This makes it easier to climb over from one of the two seats to the other. A single-section Centre Rail extending between both rows of seats can be ordered as an option, offering even greater flexibility when it comes to the positioning of standard and optional function elements. The optional lighting package includes illumination of both the Centre Rail and door panels.
Front sports seats are also part of the standard specification for the MINI Paceman. As an alternative to the standard Diagonal Track cloth upholstery, customers can specify the Hot Cross cloth/leather combination, Gravity leather trim or exclusive Lounge leather variant. A bespoke selection of upholstery colours, interior surfaces, Colour Lines and other design features offers a wide range of individualisation options for the interior.
The high-opening tailgate of the MINI Paceman and its low boot sill allow the luggage area to be accessed in comfort. Load capacity stands at 330 litres, increasing to 1,080 litres when the rear seat backrests are folded down.
The options list for the MINI Paceman contains a storage package (containing features such as additional function elements for the Centre Rail), a rear carrier preparation and a trailer coupling. Engine range: extremely powerful, remarkably efficient.
Four variants of the MINI Paceman will be available from launch. Customers will have a choice of two petrol engines and a pair of diesel units – all with four cylinders and their zesty power delivery accompanied by remarkably low fuel consumption and emissions. The MINIMALISM technology fitted as standard on all models includes Brake Energy Regeneration, the need-based operation of ancillary components, Electric Power Steering and the Gear Shift Indicator which, like the Auto Start/Stop function, works in tandem with the manual gearbox.
A shared feature of the 1.6-litre petrol engines powering the MINI Cooper S Paceman and MINI Cooper Paceman is fully variable valve management. Based on the BMW Group’s VALVETRONIC technology, this system optimises both the engine’s responses and its efficiency. Under the bonnet of the MINI Cooper S Paceman, this system joins forces with a twin-scroll turbocharger and direct injection to generate maximum output of 135 kW/184 hp at 5,500 rpm. Plus, peak torque of 240 Newton metres (177 lb-ft) is on tap between 1,600 and 5,000 rpm. An overboost function is at the driver’s disposal to provide particularly powerful bursts of acceleration, increasing torque to as much as 260 Newton metres (192 lb-ft) for a short time between 1,700 and 4,500 rpm. All of which enables the MINI Cooper S Paceman to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h / 62 mph in 7.5 seconds (automatic: 7.8 seconds) on the way to a top speed of 217 km/h / 135 mph (212 km/h / 132 mph). Despite this smile-inducing acceleration, average fuel economy in the EU test cycle stands at an impressive 6.1 (7.1) litres per 100 kilometres / 46.3 (39.8) mpg imp and CO2 emissions are just 143 (166) grams per kilometre.
Developing maximum output of 90 kW/122 hp at 6,000 rpm and with peak torque of 160 Newton metres (118 lb-ft) available from 4,250 rpm, the engine powering the MINI Cooper Paceman also has what it takes to fuel plenty of sporty driving fun. The 0-100 km/h / 62 mph dash is all over in 10.4 seconds (automatic: 11.5 seconds) and top speed stands at 192 km/h / 119 mph (184 km/h / 114 mph). Average fuel consumption for the MINI Cooper Paceman in the EU test cycle is 6.0 (7.2) litres per 100 kilometres / 47.1 (39.2) mpg imp, while CO2 emissions come in at 140 (168) grams per kilometre.
A turbocharger with variable turbine geometry and common-rail direct injection allows the diesel powerplants driving the MINI Cooper SD Paceman and MINI Cooper D Paceman to offer both instantaneous pulling power and exceptionally low fuel consumption. What’s more, the engines’ aluminium construction allows weight to be kept impressively low and smoothness to take a front seat. The engine fitted in the MINI Cooper SD Paceman produces maximum output of 105 kW/143 hp at 4,000 rpm from its 2.0-litre displacement. Maximum torque of 305 Newton metres (225 lb-ft) can be accessed between 1,750 and 2,700 rpm. The resultant power delivery allows the MINI Cooper SD Paceman to sprint from rest to 100 km/h / 62 mph in 9.2 seconds (automatic: 9.4 seconds) and hands it a top speed of 200 (197) km/h / 124 (122) mph. The impressive efficiency of the more powerful of the two diesel engines is reflected in average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of 4.6 (5.7) litres per 100 kilometres / 61.4 (49.6) mpg imp and CO2 emissions of 122 (150) grams per kilometre.
The MINI Cooper D Paceman also stands out with its superb balance of brawn and economy. Its diesel powerplant has 1.6-litre displacement, rising to 2.0 litres if the optional automatic gearbox is specified. Maximum output stands at 82 kW/112 hp and is available from 4,000 rpm, while peak torque of 270 Newton metres (199 lb-ft) is served up between 1,750 and 2,250 rpm. The MINI Cooper D Paceman accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h / 62 mph in 10.8 seconds (automatic: 11.2 seconds) on the way to a top speed of 187 (182) km/h / 116 (113) mph. The exemplary efficiency of this variant is headlined by average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of 4.4 (5.6) litres per 100 kilometres / 64.2 (50.4) mpg imp and CO2 emissions of 115 (149) grams per kilometre. Six-speed automatic gearbox and ALL4 all-wheel drive on the options list.
The MINI Paceman is equipped as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, while a six-speed automatic – complete with the Steptronic function enabling manual gearshifts – is available as an option for all models. In the MINI Cooper S Paceman and MINI Cooper SD Paceman, the automatic gearbox also comes with shift paddles attached to the steering wheel; these can be ordered as an option for all other models. Extra helpings of driving fun can be summoned with a touch of the optional Sport Button, which tweaks the engine’s responses and the power assistance provided by the steering.
In models ordered with the automatic gearbox, the Sport Button can be used to activate a specially tuned sport program which makes various adjustments, including extra zip for the gear changes. Three of the four model variants can be equipped with ALL4 from the launch of the compact Sports Activity Coupé. The permanent all-wheel-drive system is available for the MINI Cooper S Paceman, MINI Cooper SD Paceman and MINI Cooper D Paceman and can be combined with either the manual gearbox or the automatic.
The ALL4 system uses an electromagnetic centre differential to distribute drive seamlessly between the front and rear axles. In normal driving situations ALL4 diverts up to 50 per cent of the engine’s power to the rear wheels, rising to as much as 100 per cent in extreme conditions, such as on ice and snow-covered surfaces. The control electronics of the MINI ALL4 system are integrated directly into the DSC management unit, enabling drive to be distributed between the front and rear axle as and when required – and in a matter of milliseconds. This set-up optimises fuel economy and ensures the car displays maximum agility in the face of fluctuating dynamic requirements, while delivering surefooted, and thus typically MINI, handling characteristics.
Cutting-edge chassis technology provides a new take on the go-kart feeling.
The construction of the MINI Paceman’s chassis – consisting of a MacPherson spring strut front axle and forged cross members in tandem with a multi-link rear axle – underpins its hallmark MINI agility. A feature particular to the MINI Paceman is the sporty set-up of the lowered suspension, although the car can also be ordered with regular suspension and ride height as a no-cost option. The precise and efficient Electric Power Steering likewise enhances the ever-present go-kart feeling on board the MINI Paceman. The steering system’s standard Servotronic function provides speed-sensitive power assistance.
The likewise standard-fitted DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system comprises ABS anti-lock brakes, Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Brake Assist and Hill Assist. The MINI Cooper S Paceman, MINI Cooper SD Paceman and MINI Cooper D Paceman with ALL4 also come with DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) mode, which allows controlled slip through the driven wheels to ease moving off on loose sand or deep snow. When the stability system is deactivated (in DSC Off mode) an electronic locking function for the front axle differential comes into play. In tight corners it brakes a spinning wheel as required to enhance handling. Known as Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC), this system enhances the car’s traction without adversely affecting its steering properties. DTC and EDLC are available for the MINI Cooper Paceman and MINI Cooper D Paceman as an option.
Standard specification also includes light-alloy wheels – in 16-inch format for the MINI Cooper Paceman and MINI Cooper D Paceman and 17-inch guise for the MINI Cooper S Paceman and MINI Cooper SD Paceman. 18-inch and 19-inch light-alloy wheels can be ordered as an option for all model variants. Comprehensive safety equipment and high-quality comfort-enhancing features.
The high torsional rigidity of the MINI Paceman’s body plays an important role in both its agile handling and its impressive passive safety. In the event of a crash, extremely robust load-path structures, precisely defined deformation zones and an extremely strong passenger compartment are on hand to keep the impact energy away from the car’s occupants and ensure maximum protection for all those on board. Like the MINI Countryman, which passed the Euro NCAP crash test with the maximum five-star rating, the MINI Paceman’s standard-fitted safety arsenal includes front and side airbags, as well as side curtain airbags for both rows of seats. All seats are fitted with three-point inertia-reel seat belts. Front seat occupants will also find belt tensioners and belt force limiters, while in the rear ISOFIX child seat attachments are in place should they be required.
The high-quality standard equipment of the MINI Paceman also fits the brand’s premium character as far as comfort and functionality are concerned. Air conditioning, electrically adjustable exterior mirrors, the Centre Rail, model-specific door sill lettering and the radio MINI CD audio system with AUX-IN socket are included as standard on all model variants. The options list, meanwhile, contains items such as a sports leather steering wheel (standard on the MINI Cooper S Paceman and MINI Cooper SD Paceman) with optional multifunction buttons and cruise control, an armrest between the front seats, heated seats, automatic climate control and an electrically operated glass roof. Also on the options list are Comfort Access, xenon Adaptive Headlights with black headlight housing, automatically dimming rear-view and exterior mirrors, Park Distance Control, front foglamps and a rain sensor.
Customers can take on-board entertainment and navigation capability to new levels with the radio MINI Boost CD, radio MINI Visual Boost, harman/kardon hi-fi loudspeaker system and MINI navigation system. A voice control system, a hands-free system/mobile phone preparation and a DAB tuner for receiving digital radio programmes can also be specified. Cars fitted with the radio MINI Visual Boost or MINI navigation system can also be ordered with the MINI Connected option, which allows full Apple iPhone integration and therefore the use of innovative infotainment, communications and driving experience functions. Specially developed apps open the door to a unique and constantly expanding variety of functions such as web radio, Facebook and Twitter usage, Dynamic Music, Driving Excitement, Mission Control and the MINIMALISM Analyser.
Gallery: MINI Paceman
Written By: Nathaniel Salzman
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