14/9/12

Overview: BMW Mini Paceman

Have the pips not yet been squeezed out of the Mini brand? Styled as a coupé interpretation of the Countryman, four versions of the new Mini Paceman will be available when it arrives in British showrooms next spring. The seventh Mini body style will sell alongside the hatch, Clubman, Convertible, Countryman, Coupé and Roadster.

The three-door Paceman is built on the Countryman platform. Bumper to bumper the new car measures 4109mm (or 4115mm for the Cooper S and Cooper SD versions), which makes it almost identical in size to its sibling.

The car’s interior has been designed specifically for this model. The highlight is the rear cabin, which has been styled with a lounge in mind — perhaps a trifle optimistic in a car of this size, but full marks for effort. Two individual seats are used, making the car an honest four-seater. Armrests have been integrated into the rear trim. A two-section version of the Mini Centre Rail storage and attachment system — first seen in the Countryman — comes as standard. A full-length variant is available as an option.

Folding down the rear seats expands the rear load-carrying capacity from 330l to a maximum of 1080l.

In the front, detail changes single the Paceman out, though all of the basic design elements remain. One small but welcome change is that the buttons for the windows, which have previously been toggle switches below the speedo on every Mini to date, have moved to the door trim panel.

All-wheel drive transmission os optional, while the basic running-gear is a lowered version of the Countryman’s. Regular sus­pension and ride height are available as a no-cost option.

From launch, Paceman customers will have the choice of four four-cylinder engines, two petrol and two diesel. All come with a six-speed manual gearbox, or an optional six-speed automatic.

The petrol engines are two versions of the familiar BMW-PSA 1.6-litre unit, offering 122PS or, in the Cooper S Paceman, 184PS.

The Cooper D Paceman uses a 1.6-litre 112PS PSA power-unit, while Cooper SD Paceman gets BMW’s own 2.0-litre 143PS engine.

The Mini All-4 four-wheel drive system is available on the Cooper D, SD and Cooper S Paceman, models; a John Cooper Works Paceman version is in development.

Under the Paceman’s bodyshell, McPherson spring struts with forged cross members locate the front wheels, while a multi-link ystem is used at the rear. Electric power steering with speed-sensitive Servotronic function is standard. A ‘sport’ button, optional on Cooper and Cooper D, tweaks the accelerator response and the power assistance provided by the steering.

Driver aids include Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) as standard across the range, with Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) including Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) on the MINI Cooper S Paceman, Cooper SD Paceman and Cooper D Paceman All-4. Light alloy wheels in 16-inch and 17-inch sizes are standard, with 18-inch or 19-inch available at extra cost.

An automatic stop-start system is fitted, along with a gear-change prompt display, brake energy regeneration and on-demand operation of ancillary units.

Occupant protection is provided by a range of safety equipment including front and side airbags. Side curtain airbags are fitted in both the front and back. ISOFIX child seat attachments in the rear and a tyre pressure warning are fitted to all models. Other standard equipment includes air conditioning, powered door mirrors and front sports seats. Popular options will include Xenon Adaptive Headlights, Park Distance Control, an electrically operated glass roof plus the Mini navigation system. Advanced infotainment functions are available through Mini Connected.

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