In a surprise announcement before a thousand fans at the start of the sixth annual, 3,900-mile cross-country rally, Mini Chief Executive Kay Sigler said, “You are the first to hear this, even before the press. The Mini Paceman is the official name of the brand’s seventh model, which will be launched next year in the U.S.”
The Mini Paceman concept vehicle debuted at the Detroit North American International Auto Show in January 2011. The Paceman is basically a two-door version of the company’s Countryman SUV.
“In contrast to the more vertical design of the Mini Countryman, we’ve given the MINI Paceman Concept a horizontal emphasis and accentuated the width of the car more to underline the powerful appearance of the study,” Marcus Syring, Head of Mini Exterior Design said describing the Paceman.
The Concept was outfitted with the 211-hp John Cooper Works 1.6-liter twin-scroll turbocharged engine, but when the Paceman reaches dealers it will likely have the same trim as the Countryman, a121-hp 1.6-liter inline-four in naturally aspirated trim, or 181-hp in an S turbo trim. The John Cooper Works option will like be offered later.
The Countryman has the Mini ALL4 permanent all-wheel-drive system, so the Paceman will probably have the same drivetrain. In normal driving conditions, 100 percent of the drive is sent to the front wheels, and in extreme situations as much as 50 percent can be directed to the rear.