BMW will cease production of the MINI Paceman along with the R60 Countryman at the end of this year. Unlike the Countryman (the new version will shift production from Magna Steyr’s Graz plant in Austria to Oxford) the Paceman will be discontinued. The dream of the MINI Crossover Coupe will officially be dead.
The Paceman was expected to be a niche product but even in that capacity sales goals were never reached. The combination of less versatility, higher prices and coupe like styling didn’t appeal to buyers as expected. A much as we loved the idea of a all wheel drive manual transmission MINI Coupe, the Paceman didn’t quite stir emotions like even the standard R56 or F56 Hatch.
The decision (made several years ago) also coincided with a change of strategy for MINI: offer less niche products and focus more time and investment on the core vehicles. The evidence of this is seen in the quality and engineering in the Clubman and (so we’re told) in the upcoming 2017 F60 Countryman.
Where does the Paceman lie in MINI history? The Paceman represents an interesting combination of traits on paper that should continue to appeal as a used car with lower prices. The All4 system is excellent in snowy climates and the ability to pair it with a slick shifting manual is rare on US roads. While performance was somewhat dulled by less than stellar weight to power ratio it still had lively turn-in and plenty enough performance to justify the MINI name. That said it’s the JCW model that will likely appeal more to enthusiasts looking for something both rare and fast.
Let’s hear your thoughts. Is the Paceman one to remember or one to forget?