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Car Of The Week – MINI Paceman Concept Revealed

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MINI Press Release. A new MINI design concept will make its debut at the North American  International Auto Show (NAIAS) which will be held between January 10  and 23, 2011.  The MINI Paceman Concept is the first Sports  Activity Coupé in the premium small segment of the market.

The MINI Paceman Concept study establishes a new category of car  combining the fundamental MINI DNA – dynamic capability, individual  design – and gives them a fresh twist with the help of cutting  edge technology and an innovative new body concept. The Paceman  combines the classical MINI concept with the defining features of the  MINI Counrtyman and the style of a coupe. The result is a MINI with  visual ‘muscle car’ design cues, displaying its dynamic  capability from every angle.

Although no decision has been made about a future production version,  Paceman could form yet another building block in the development of  the MINI brand.

“It is ten years exactly since the new MINI was launched to the  US market so there is a happy symmetry in presenting an all-new  concept at the Detroit Show” said Jochen Goller, MINI Director  for BMW UK Ltd.  “Following last year’s launch of the  MINI Countryman and the forthcoming launches of the MINI Coupé  and Roadster, the Paceman Concept shows once again not only the  innovative spirit and adventure among its design team, but also the  potential breadth of the MINI brand as it grows and develops.”

A MINI Sports Activity Coupé – urban and masculine.

The MINI Paceman Concept retains the familiar MINI family frontal  appearance but adds its own distinctive flavour.  Large  headlights with chrome surrounds extend deep into the front wings and,  together with the distinctively contoured bonnet, emphasise the  imposing nose of the Paceman.  The radiator grille is essentially  the same as that of the Cooper S Countryman barring additional air  intakes in the bumper to deliver improved brake ventilation and the  incorporation of new deep set fog lights.

From the side the MINI Paceman Concept features a fresh  interpretation of the front wing and side indicator that attracts the  eye from the A-pillars down to the unique design 19 inch front  wheels.   This rugged and sturdy design element is  complemented by dark wheel arch surrounds with matching side skirts  that emphasize the masculine, sporting nature of Paceman.

The familiar MINI shoulder line that rises towards the rear of the  Paceman Concept also hints at its sporting intent.  Less familiar  is the glass and roof treatment.  As the waistline rises the flat  roofline flows into a wide C-pillar that appears to be  transparent.  The windows appear to wrap around the car like a  band of glass with the roof ‘suspended’ on top and painted  in a striking, contrasting colour.  This is known as the  ‘helmet’ roof.  The coupé-style windows taper  towards the rear and the whole effect is one of a dynamic wedge shape.

“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 rather more to underline  the powerful appearance of the study” explained Marcus Syring,  Head of MINI Exterior Design.

A new interpretation of the classic coupé design has given the  MINI Paceman Concept a distinctive coupé tail that complements  the athletic character of the car  Loading ….  New rear  lights positioned at the outer edges of the broad, muscular rear wings  underline the dominance of horizontal lines, which run parallel to one  another and emphasise the wide track of the rear axle.

As with the MINI Cooper S Countryman, the rear apron of the MINI  Paceman Concept features a diffuser that channels the airflow between  the twin exhausts and further enhances the car’s aerodynamic  properties.  Even the licence plate recess echoes the form of the  front air intake in order to forge a stylistic link between the front  and rear of the car.

The MINI Paceman Concept measures 4,110 millimetres in length, 1,789  millimetres in width and 1,541 millimetres in height.  In  archetypal MINI style, the Paceman has extremely short front and rear  overhangs to facilitate the familiar go kart driving responses.


  Interior: a blend of modern function and luxurious character.

The interior of the MINI Paceman Concept deliberately draws on  MINI’s unique and distinctive design language, yet it also  imparts a refreshing new look.  Behind the study’s  masculine exterior lies an elegant yet sporty interior environment  that exudes premium quality and funky design.  The instrument  panel of the MINI study is defined by its distinctive, concave forms  and the sporting yet functional impression it creates.  The  central air vents, Central Speedo and gearshift lever feature outer  rings in a contrasting colour while large side air vents underline the  MINI character still further.

The slim centre console, which maximises legroom for the driver and  front passenger, coalesces into the Centre Rail pioneered by the MINI  Countryman, thereby creating a visual and functional link between the  front and rear seats.  This unique and innovative U-profile rail  system runs along the centreline of the passenger compartment as far  as the rear seat backrests.  Light shades of leather lend an  expression of luxurious allure to the interior of the MINI Paceman,  while a new interpretation of the brand’s familiar elliptical  door and side trim extends along the length of the cabin, taking in  the B-pillar and emphasising the length of the interior.   Shaped armrests with large stowage compartments, ergonomically  designed door pulls and the speakers for the sound system are embedded  in the main element of this ellipse.

Behind the front sports seats are two comfortably-shaped individual  rear seats designed with backrests that merge distinctively into the  seat sides in order to create fully contoured passenger support.   The “club lounge” character thus created underlines the  individual and unconventional nature of the MINI Paceman Concept and  helps turn every journey into an experience for the rear passengers  every bit as much as it is for those in the front.  

  Drive system: powerful and efficient.

The MINI Paceman Concept has been designed to allow the deployment of  the most powerful engine currently available in the MINI  palette.  The MINI John Cooper Works 1.6-litre  twin-scroll turbocharged engine gives the MINI Paceman Concept the  capacity to deliver the outstanding performance its appearance  promises.  This 16 valve, four cylinder unit develops 211 hp  and generates maximum torque of 260 Nm (192 lb-ft), the latter  value having the capacity to reach 280 Nm (207 lb-ft) in brief  bursts thanks to the Overboost function.

Its MINI Countryman roots give this new MINI concept study an  ideal platform for the MINI ALL4 permanent all-wheel-drive  system.  ALL4 features an electromagnetic centre differential  positioned directly on the final drive which varies the distribution  of power seamlessly between the front and rear axles.  In normal  driving conditions up to 50 per cent of the drive is sent to the rear  wheels, but in extreme situations as much as 100 per cent can be  directed to the rear.

The MINI Paceman Concept is, of course, also available in two wheel  drive form but harnessing the power of the punchy four-cylinder engine  in all-wheel-drive form offers an extra dose of driving fun through a  traction-led, sporting expression of the agile handling for which MINI  is famed.

  Chassis: the best handling characteristics in the segment.

MINI chassis technology has been especially developed for the MINI  Paceman Concept to transform the potential of its potent engine into a  driving experience that offers inspiring agility, impressive poise and  always in complete safety.  While it delivers precise and  sporting handling it is the high standard of compliant ride comfort  that truly sets the MINI Paceman Concept apart.

The front axle features MacPherson spring struts with lower track  control arms which, combined with Electric Power Steering with  speed-sensitive power assistance, plays a major role in delivering the  response and agility customers expect from a MINI.  The  Paceman’s multi-link rear axle was developed using proven BMW  Group chassis expertise and is designed for use in both the  front-wheel-drive and the ALL4 all-wheel-drive versions of the car.

  MINI Paceman Concept: an idea ahead of the game – once again.

The MINI Paceman Concept embodies the idea of an incomparable driving  experience in a way that meets the needs of modern, lifestyle-oriented  customers but it also remains true to the character of the MINI brand.

“With the MINI Countryman having already opened up a  fascinating new avenue in the expansion of the brand family, the  designers are now tapping into the potential of its state-of-the-art  drive technology and flexible space concept to develop additional  market opportunities in a coupé sibling” explained Jochen Goller.

“The MINI Paceman Concept aims to deliver a particularly  emotional driving experience and demonstrates this ability in a style  typical of the brand.  I believe we are offering clear evidence  of how totally new vehicle concepts can still be developed through  unconventional creativity” he concluded.

For our money this is MINIs response to the Range Rover Evoque and as such it’s on the right lines to be a winner in a niche market – a pretty Countryman?

Author: ibeastie

Interested in Photography, Watches, Style and Cars

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