In an official announcement, Mini confirmed that the two-door Mini Countryman crossover will be named the Paceman. Mini executives unveiled the name at the beginning of the “Mini Takes the States” event, a coast-to-coast road rally from New York City to Los Angeles. The Paceman is the seventh Mini to enter the lineup.
At this point, the details are very scarce but it’s expected that the Paceman would originally be offered in Cooper and Cooper S forms with a 121-hp 1.6-liter I-4 making 114 lb-ft of torque, or a turbocharged 181-hp 1.6-liter I-4 with 177 lb-ft of torque. It’s probable that a more powerful John Cooper Works edition will enter the range a year or two later.
Similar to the Countryman, the Paceman will be offered with front- or all-wheel drive, and provide six-speed manual and automatic transmissions.
When it comes to fuel economy, the Mini Paceman EPA-rated numbers are likely to drop to figures near those of the 2012 Mini Countryman, which ranges from 23/30 mpg city/highway for a Countryman S model with all-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission to 27/35 mpg for a front-drive Countryman with a six-speed manual.
At the rally’s kick-off ceremony, Mini’s senior vice president Dr. Kay Segler said that the Mini Paceman is the world’s first sports activity coupe in the premium compact segment.
Mini said that the Paceman is the first premium compact two-door SUV. This is a claim that the maker of the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque would certainly oppose. The launch of the Mini Paceman is scheduled for 2013.
Fans and enthusiasts of the MINI Countryman will be happy to learn that its 2013 version will be donning an array of extensive modifications when it becomes available in Autumn 2012.
As the first MINI to offer an all-wheel-drive, the MINI Countryman has been considered as one of the main factors for the brand’s continued surge, bringing along with signature MINI qualities and values into a new vehicle segment. Now, these modifications both to its interior and exterior should allow the MINI Countryman to further improve these qualities.
On the exterior, MINI is offering a fresh set of exterior paint finishes in autumn 2012. The color palette for the exterior of the MINI Countryman will include expressive shades like Brilliant Copper metallic and Blazing Red metallic. MINI is planning to restructure its offered equipment packages to allow customers to personalize their MINI Countryman, according to tastes and preferences. Inside, the new MINI Countryman features newly designed rings bordering the Centre Speedo and four air vents – all in Carbon Black color shade.
These elements also feature an inner ring in high-gloss black or in chrome, when the Chrome Line Interior option is specified. For the sake of optimal practically, the spacious MINI Countryman comes with newly designed door inserts that help augment its premium ambience and practicality as well as remodeled door armrests for a more comfortable arm support.
Controls for the electric windows are also placed in the door trim. The door armrest on the driver's side now integrates a full control panel that includes switches for all the windows, and a deactivation facility for the rear window controls, as well as adjustment for the exterior mirrors. By moving the window controls away from the center console, MINI was able to optimize access to the larger storage compartment located below it.
As standard, a three-seat rear bench is specified for the new MINI Countryman five-door, although customers may avail of an optional pair of individual seats without extra cost. MINI has also modified the available interior colors, Color Lines and interior trim elements for the new MINI Countryman. MINI intends to roll out all planned modification across MINI Countryman variants starting November 2012.