NewMini in the big-time

The lit­tle car for young peo­ple has out­grown its name, writes Craig Duff

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

ATWO-DOOR take on the Mini Coun­try­man SUV will poke its head into pub­lic view at next week’s Detroit Mo­tor Show.

It’s the lat­est in a long line of study mod­els and, given the BMW Group’s pen­chant for us­ing con­cepts to gauge pub­lic re­ac­tion, is a real pos­si­bil­ity as a pro­duc­tion model.

It also marks the 10th year since the Mini brand was re­launched in the US.

The Mini Paceman Con­cept coupe rides on the same raised plat­form as the four-door Coun­try­man, but the front-end has been restyled along the lines of the reg­u­lar Cooper S, with ex­tra in­takes in the front bumper to im­prove brake cool­ing.

The en­gine has been trans­planted from the top-spec John Cooper Works pro­duc­tion model, mean­ing a tur­bocharged 1.6-litre mill with 155kW/260Nm. That should give it a 0-100km/h time close to the JCW Club­man’s 6.8 sec­onds.

Mini de­scribes the Paceman as the first ‘‘sports ac­tiv­ity coupe’’ in the small-ve­hi­cle seg­ment and is pitch­ing the con­cept at ex­tro­vert ur­ban pro­fes­sion­als who like a unique look — and don’t mind be­ing looked at.

The raised ride height is de­signed to be matched with Mini’s op­tional All4 all-wheel-drive sys­tem. Drive is split equally be­tween the front and rear wheels, but the elec­tro­mag­netic cen­tre diff can di­rect all power to the rear if re­quired.

The con­cept rides on 19-inch wheels and is 4110mm long and 1789mm wide, mak­ing it a Mini in name only.

The ex­te­rior de­sign has fo­cused on hor­i­zon­tal lines. A flat roof, wrap­around glass and ris­ing waist­line give the car a wedge-shaped pro­file not un­like the Range Rover Evoque. The rear lights have been pushed to the outer edges to con­tinue the sty­ing theme, and a rear dif­fuser en­hances the car’s look and aero­dy­nam­ics.

The Mini theme of push­ing the wheels to the ex­treme edges of the body are con­tin­ued along with MacPher­son strut front sus­pen­sion and a multi-link rear set-up, so it can be ex­pected to han­dle well.

In­side are four leather-trimmed and con­toured seats.

Stand­out: the Mini Paceman Con­cept coupe should ap­peal to young pro­fes­sion­als who like to at­tract at­ten­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.