Mini is developing a production version of Paceman concept vehicle

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 11, 2011

Mini will make a version of the Paceman concept vehicle that is on display at the Detroit Auto Show, according to Ian Robertson, a member of BMW AG's board.

He said that this vehicle will come after sales of the Countryman coupe begin later this year and after the Roadster, which will start selling in 2012. The Paceman is built on the Countryman platform.

Robertson said that the Paceman will soon enter the engineering phase and that in the next few months, the company will be able to determine how soon it could be launched.

He said that the production version won’t be exactly the same but that there will be a “very, very strong” resemblance. The Paceman was introduced by Mini during the 10th anniversary of its relaunch. The Paceman is a two-door, four seater sports activity coupe.

Robertson said it is too early to make a sales prediction but he thinks that the Paceman will appeal to buyers who want four-wheel drive, but prefer a sport coupe product over a four-door sedan.

Robertson said that Mini aims to sell more vehicles in 2011 than in 2010 but he declined to say the exact target. However, he said that he is convinced that the Mini product line will have another record year in 2011. In the U.S., Mini sold about 45,000 vehicles in 2010.

Exterior Design

While the MINI Paceman Concept still has the features of a typical model from the MINI family, it boasts some unique features. For instance, it has large headlights -- with chrome surrounds -- extending into the front wings.

Along with contoured bonnet, these headlights underscore the aggressive nose of the Paceman. While its radiator grille is basically a copy of that of the Cooper S Countryman, it dons extra air intakes in the bumper for better brake ventilation.

The bumper now features new deep set fog lights. On the other hand, the MINI Paceman Concept presents a new take of the front wing and side indicator, helping increase the visual appeal of the A-pillars to the 19-inch front wheels.

This layout is complemented by dark wheel arch surrounds and matching side skirts – all highlighting the concept’s sporty character. Additionally, the concept still comes with the familiar MINI shoulder line rising towards the rear and with the less familiar glass and roof treatment.

The coupe-like windows of the MINI Paceman Concept seem to wrap around the vehicle with the contrasting helmet roof on top. These windows narrow towards the rear of the concept, resulting to a dynamic wedge shape.

At the rear, the MINI Paceman Concept features a unique coupé tail that boosts its sporty character. MINI placed the new rear lights at the outer edges of the broad rear wings while horizontal lines flow parallel to one another, underscoring the wide track of the rear axle.

The MINI Paceman Concept is provided with a rear apron with a diffuser that directs airflow between the twin exhausts, thereby improving the vehicle’s aerodynamics – just like that on the MINI Cooper S Countryman.

Moreover, the license plate recess takes on the form of the front air intake to highlight the styling continuity between the front and rear of the car. In terms of dimension, the MINI Paceman Concept has a length of 4,110 mm, width of 1,789 mm, and height of 1,541 mm.

Just like all MINI vehicles, the Paceman features extremely short front and rear overhangs. Marcus Syring, Head of MINI Exterior Design, remarked that designers gave the MINI Paceman Concept a horizontal emphasis and have accentuated its width to underscore its dynamic looks.

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