Detroit 2013: Mini Cooper Paceman Promises a High-Octane Feeling

The auto industry hasn't exactly been predictable over the past decade, but one thing we have learned to count on is that if there's an all-new Mini model, a John Cooper Works (JCW) version won't be far behind. And so, the Paceman that debuted at last September's Paris Motor Show has been followed up here in Detroit by a Paceman JCW. Two of them are on Mini's revised stand, one parallel to the floor and one perpendicular to it, attached (securely, we hope) to an asphalt road that soars up above the Mini stand. Both are done up in chili red and black, chili red roofs and mirror caps being the exclusive province of JCW models.

During the press conference for the Paceman JCW, a Mini executive declared that the Paceman JCW delivers on "the promise of a high-octane race feeling, even on the streets of the urban jungle." With 208 hp and a 0-to-60-mph time of 6.5 seconds, we're not sure about that, but what it will definitely deliver is a shockingly high price of $36,200 when it hits dealerships in March, but if you've been following the rollout of JCW models, you already know that they never come cheap.

The Paceman JCW does come with a few upgrades that it shares with its Countryman big brother, such as window switches and a door lock button that have been relocated to the driver's door panel from their previous confusing location in the center stack. The JCW also has a particularly fine set of exclusive 19-inch wheels because, as Mini's U.S. head of product strategy, Patrick McKenna, points out, "wheels are the shoes of cars and have to look great." And indeed these do.

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