MINI reveals Paceman coupé
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MINI has released official pictures and details of the new Paceman - the three-door coupé version of the Countryman crossover. Due to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, the Paceman will go on sale in March 2013 starting from €27,660.
The seventh member of the MINI family is, for the time being, possibly the most controversial. Built on the high-riding Countryman platform, its dimensions are identical to that of its sibling but the Paceman loses its rear doors and gains a few additional details to help differentiate it.
Chief amongst these is the sloping roofline that endows the Paceman with a mini-BMW X6 look and gives MINI a rival for the Range Rover Evoque Coupé. For the first time in a MINI the rear lights have been mounted horizontally rather than vertically and the Paceman wears its name with pride - becoming the first MINI model to display a badge across the boot.
Unlike the Countryman, which is available with four or five seats, the Paceman is strictly a four-seat affair. MINI says the rear seats have been styled around a lounge concept and while we don't know about that we can see the benefits of having only two seats, especially considering the lower roofline and difficulty accessing the rear via the three-door layout.
The Countryman's Centre Rail storage solution is carried over with a full-length version available from the (extensive) options list. Drivers will rejoice at the news that the buttons for the electric windows have moved from the centre console to the doors - just like the latest Countryman.
The new shape does mean that the Paceman is not quite as practical as the Countryman; boot space drops from 350- to 330 litres, though that is still gargantuan compared to the 165 litres offered by the MINI hatchback.
As the 'sportier' version of the Countryman the Paceman will only be available in the various Cooper guises. Two petrol engines, a 125hp 1.6-litre Cooper and 187hp turbocharged Cooper S, are offered. The lower powered car returns 47.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 140g/km with a 0-100km/h sprint time of 10.4 seconds. The Cooper S model does not fare much worse with 46.3mpg and 143g/km, but a 7.5-second 0-100km/h is noticeably quicker.
For those who prefer diesel, the MINI Cooper D Paceman uses a 1.6-litre 114hp turbocharged engine with a 0-100km/h time of 10.8 seconds. It returns 64.2mpg while emitting 115g/km. The Cooper SD is powered by a 145hp 2.0-litre engine and can complete the 0-100km/h sprint in 9.2 seconds and return 61.4mpg while emitting just 122g/km of CO2.
All Pacemans will be fitted with a six-speed manual transmission as standard with a six-speed automatic (with Steptronic functions) available as an option. MINI's ALL4 all-wheel drive system is available on all but the Cooper model.
To give the Paceman the handling to go with its sporty looks MINI has stiffened the chassis, retuned the power steering and dropped the ride height by 10mm. Buyers can opt for the softer Countryman settings at no extra cost.
The MINI Cooper Paceman will arrive in Ireland on March 16 next year with prices starting from €27,660. That price will rise significantly though as a John Cooper Works Paceman version is already in development.
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