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.