- - Thursday, September 20, 2012

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 Coupe in the premium small and compact segment. Its powerful, dynamically stretched coupe 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 CooperS Paceman and the diesel units in the MINI CooperD Paceman and MINI CooperSD Paceman cover an output spread from 112 hp/82kW to 184hp/135kW. 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 CooperS Paceman, MINI CooperSD Paceman and MINI CooperD 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 coupe lines.

The innovative concept of a compact Sports Activity Coupe 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

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 coupe-style roof, swooping downwards towards the rear, sits almost seamlessly atop the passenger compartment. Its distinctive “helmet” contours fit neatly into the coupe 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 coupe-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.

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 Center 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 Center Speedo. Positioned below the Center 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 Center 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 Center Rail storage and attachment system runs from just aft of the gearshift or selector lever on the center console to its finishing point between the front seats. The second section of the Center 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 Center 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 Center 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.

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