2011 Mini Paceman concept – officially unveiled

2011 Mini Paceman concept – officially unveiled

Rumours have been circulating about what concept Mini would launch at next month’s Detroit Auto Show with many guessing an even smaller Mini micro car. But today rumours have been put to rest with the announcement that Mini will take its new Paceman concept.

Based heavily on the upcoming Countryaman, Mini has removed the rear doors and turned it into a coupe. There are plenty of subtle styling tweaks, and Mini have created a new category for the vehicle labeling it the world’s first Sports Activity Coupe in the small-car segment.

Visually, the Paceman starts identically to the Countryman up front, where it uses the same grille as the higher-powered Cooper S Countryman. Behind the front clip, the Paceman has a shorter, more sloping roofline. Large 19-inch wheels are fitted, suggesting greater performance for the two-door edition. On the rear, the Paceman has more of a horizontal design theme, with a lower, smaller glass area and taillamps that wrap around and are turned 90 degrees from their vertical installation in the Countryman.

Even with the missing rear doors, the Paceman is the same size as its Countryman donor car, measuring the same 4110mm in length and 1789mm width. Thanks to the chopped roofline however, the Paceman’s height is shorter by 20mm at 1541mm.

Under the burly bonnet lays the same 1.6 litre twin-scroll turbocharged engine found in the brand’s John Cooper Works models, which produces 155kW and 260Nm of torque.

As with the Countryman, the Paceman also features Mini’s All4 permanent all-wheel-drive system, which can send up to the full 100 percent of power to the rear axle if the front wheels completely lose traction. The front axle also features an electronic LSD system to further improve grip.

The Paceman is only the newest of many concepts to be trotted out by Mini in the past two years, and while a production future has been promised for its Coupe and Roadster models, Mini has yet to offer solid details on release dates and production plans for its next-generation line-up.

Mini says the while the Paceman hasn’t been green-lighted for production, it has aggressive plans to flesh out its lineup which could possibly see the Paceman built on an assembly line in Graz, Austria, alongside the Countryman and the BMW X1.

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