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World premiere at the 2011 Detroit auto show
MINI Paceman Concept: A sporty 2-door crossover
On the 4-door, 4-seater MINI Countryman platform

MINI Paceman concept (2-door, 4-seats), front.

Four-door MINI Countryman: front-side view.

The 2-door Paceman Concept (top, green car): a coupé / crossover brother of the (above) 4-door Countryman (white).

January 5, 2011: Ten years after the new MINI was launched in the US market, the iconic British brand will be celebrating this anniversary with the debut of its new MINI Paceman Concept at the 2011 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Michigan (10 to 23 January 2011).

The two-door, 4-seater Paceman Concept aims to establish a new category of cars. Although no decision has been made about a future production version, the BMW-owned brand announced that the concept "could become another building block in the ongoing development of... its product portfolio".

“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”, said Jochen Goller, MINI Director for BMW UK Ltd.

MINI Paceman concept (2-door, 4-seats), rear-side view.

Four-door MINI Countryman: rear-side view.

Clearly different design between the Paceman Concept (top, green car) and the Countryman (Cooper S, above, white car).

The two-door, four-seater concept car measures 4,110 millimetres in length, 1,789 millimetres in width and 1,541 millimetres in height, with extremely short overhangs. It combines a sporty crossover design and coupe looks with the dimensions of the four-door MINI Countryman, making it a Sports Activity Coupe (SAC) precursor in the premium small car segment.

Built on the platform of the MINI Countryman, the MINI Paceman comes with two large doors and a wide-opening tailgate, with increased ground clearance and raised seating position.

 Exterior

“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.

MINI Paceman concept (2-door, 4-seats), profile.

Four-door MINI Countryman: profile view.

Profile differences between the Paceman concept (top, green car) and the (white) Countryman (Cooper S, ALL4 version).

The Paceman Concept has large headlights with chrome surrounds extending into the front wings, combined with the contoured bonnet.

While the concept largely replicates the front grille design of the MINI Cooper S Countryman, additional intakes in the lower section of the front bumper improve brake ventilation and combine with the study’s deep-set foglamps.

The flat roofline runs horizontally from front to rear, where it flows into a wide, transparent-looking C-pillar (opposite green Paceman picture). The windows appear to wrap around the car like a band of glass, while the roof looks like suspended on top. The coupe-specific windows taper as they extend to the rear, and combine with the slightly rising waistline to create a wedge shape when viewed from the side.

MINI Paceman concept car: leather cover on the outside door handle.

MINI Paceman concept car: leather strip to open the fuel cap cover.

MINI Paceman concept car: side scuttle houses both the side direction indicator and an air outlet.

Details from the MINI Paceman concept car.

The MINI Paceman Concept’s fresh interpretation of the side scuttle (bottom picture of the opposite box) at the transition from front wing to door houses both the side direction indicator and an air outlet. The side scuttle has a broad, sturdy-looking design and leads the eye from the A-pillar down towards the front wheel. The 19-inch wheels were designed exclusively for the study car, with dark wheel arch borders and side skirts highlighted in the same colour.

The rear lights are positioned at the outer edges of the body and as with the MINI Cooper S Countryman, the rear apron of the MINI Paceman Concept has a diffuser design. The airflow is channelled between the twin-tailpipe exhaust on the underbody section, further optimising the car’s aerodynamic properties. The licence plate recess echoes the form of the air intake in the front bumper, forging a stylistic link between the front and rear of the car.

 Interior

Behind the masculine exterior lies an elegant cabin with a premium sense of quality. The instrument panel is defined by concave forms and large side air vents. The central air vents, Centre Speedo and gearshift lever are given broad surrounds in a contrasting colour.

A slim centre console maximises legroom for the driver and front passenger. It melts between the seats into the Centre Rail familiar from the MINI Countryman, creating a visual and functional link between the front and rear seats. This U-profile rail system runs through the middle of the passenger compartment back as far as the rear seat backrests.

MINI Paceman concept interior sketch.

Centre Rail in the MINI Countryman.

Interior drawing of the Paceman concept car (top) and  the Centre Rail of the MINI Countryman (above).

Light shades of leather lend the interior of the MINI Paceman Concept a luxurious allure.

 Drive and chassis

The MINI John Cooper Works 1.6-litre twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder engine gives the MINI Paceman Concept 155 kW/211 hp and generates maximum torque of 260 Nm (192 lb-ft), which can be increased to 280 Nm (207 lb-ft) in brief bursts thanks to the Overboost function.

The MINI Countryman roots give the appropriate platform for the optionally available MINI ALL4 permanent all-wheel-drive system. It features an electromagnetic centre differential positioned directly on the final drive which varies the distribution of power 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 Electric Power Steering has speed-sensitive power assistance. The front axle features MacPherson spring struts with lower track control arms, while the multi-link rear axle was developed on the back of 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.

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