Detroit auto show: Mini Paceman revealed!
December 18, 2010
by Greg Kable
Mini has confirmed recent speculation it's considering a two-door version of the Countryman with the unveiling of a racy new concept coupe, called the Paceman.
The athletic version of Mini's largest model debuts in January at the Detroit auto show, and it clearly signals the British carmaker's intention to place the new car, which is described as a sport activity coupe, into production. Look for that around 2013.
Stylistically, the Paceman leans heavily on the Countryman upon which it is based. Key features such as the headlamps, grille shape, clam shell hood and rounded front fenders are unchanged. The conversion from the original four-door body design is fairly straight forward; the frameless front doors are extended in length by 16 inches to 53 inches, while the rear door are deleted completely. In the process, the B-pillar, hidden by the side glass, has been moved back slightly to provide a larger door aperture.
Further changes are aimed at the slightly shortened windscreen and the roofline, which angles away quite dramatically toward the rear in a fashion reminiscent of the two-door version of the Land Rover Evoque. The Paceman also gets different taillights; dispensing with traditional vertical units, the concept receives newly interpreted horizontal lights aimed at making the vehicle appear wider.
“In contrast to the vertical design we used on the Countryman to create height, we've given the Paceman a more horizontal emphasis--something that accentuates its width,” explains Marcus Syring, head of exterior design at Mini.
Mini designers also tapered the corners, softening the look slightly in comparison to the rather square nature of the Countryman. “It's a sportier car, so we've dispenses with some of the utilitarian design features. It's smoother and sleeker,” Syring says.
At 162 inches in length, 70 in width and 61 inches in height, the Paceman is a scant half an inch longer, exactly the same width and less than an inch lower than the Countryman ALL4 fitted with an optional sports suspension.
The concept also rides on the same wheelbase and identical front and rear tracks as its four-door sibling and wears 19-inch wheels shod with 235/40 profile tires, already an option on the Countryman.
Powering the Paceman is Mini's transversely mounted twin-scroll turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine tuned to the same 211 hp and 192 lb-ft (207lb ft in overboost) of torque as in existing Cooper S Works models and planned to be brought over into the Countryman lineup early next year.
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