Detroit 2011: Mini Reveals Paceman Concept, Confirms Production

Mini first unveiled what would later become its Countryman crossover at the Detroit Auto Show last year. This year, the automaker has taken the wraps off its Paceman concept, a sportier two-door variant of the Countryman, and confirmed it for production.

Although residing on the same chassis as the Countryman, Mini took quite a different approach with the Paceman. A taller ride height, sloping roofline, and a more powerful engine than its platform mate, give the Paceman its own identity.

Under its hood, Mini installed its top-of-the line John Cooper Works engine that produces 211-horsepower 192 pound-feet of torque. The 1.6-liter I-4  found in the Paceman produces 30 more horses and 15 more pound-feet of torque than the 1.6-liter turbocharged I-4 found in its Countryman S brethren. Featuring Mini’s All4 AWD technology, 100% of the engine’s torque is inherently routed to the front wheels, but in low-grip situations an electromagnetic center differential can dispense up to half the torque to the rear wheels.

While the concept resembles the Countryman, nearly every panel appears to be bespoke to the vehicle.  Side window openings taper toward the rear of the crossover as the sloping roofline and rising waistline converge toward the rear of the crossover. Nineteen-inch wheels look like something straight out of Mini’s order guide, but copper-colored inserts and lug nuts are a reminder that they were likely crafted specifically for the concept. Front and rear styling are consistent with, but a slight evolution of, Mini’s current design language.

Mr. Mystery
I am digging the Paceman. I like the Mini Countryman and am glad they came out with a bigger one. Cool. Fine. But the Paceman for me is much more like a true Mini spirit. The subway is all I have got for me at the moment but soon Mini. Soon. Also must give props to who ever put a little Mini on top of a big Mini and drove it down broadway yesterday! Made my day. --MM

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