Pace at a time
Think of the next Mini as an urban Countryman
ANOTHER Mini is about to be unveiled. Torturing the language, the BMW-owned brand calls the Paceman a ‘‘ Sports Activity Coupe’’.
The seventh variant of the expanding Mini family is based on the Countryman SU, with two fewer doors, no three-seat option for the rear passengers and a small price premium over the Countryman five-door.
Longer doors, lower roofline and tapered glass give it a sleeker, coupe-like profile, with a ‘‘ helmet’’ roofline, flared wheelarches and horizontally aligned rear lights.
Mini spokesman Piers Scott says the Austrian-built Pacemen will be here in March. ‘‘ We’ll get diesel and petrol. There’s been no update on a John Cooper Works,’’ he says.
‘‘ There will be Cooper S and a diesel model without doubt. The jury is still out on what else is coming.
‘‘ There is front- and allwheel drive available. You take your guide from the Countryman line-up, where you have a Cooper variant but only in front-wheel drive.’’
The cabin is typical modernday Mini with an exception: the power window switches are on the doors, where they should be.
The Cooper Paceman gets a 90kW/160Nm 1.6-litre fourcylinder petrol engine. The Cooper S gets the 1.6-litre with the twin-scroll turbocharger, producing 135kW/240Nm with an extra 20Nm on overboost.
Expect a JCW version to slot in above this at some point, following the 160kW/280Nm Countryman JCW.
There will be CooperDand Cooper SD turbo diesels. The former runs an 82kW/270Nm 1.6-litre and the latter a 2.0-litre producing 105kW/305Nm.
‘‘( Buyers) will be enthusiasts who have outgrown the smaller models in the range, needing a little more space, but it will also be those shopping some of the premium compacts, the Range Rover Evoque for example,’’ Scott says.
‘‘ We have struggled to achieve the same success with Countryman that they have in some other parts of the world . . . the same amount of money buys you a lot of metal in this country and there is a challenge for Mini.
‘‘ It has always been a premium small car. People don’t realise how big it is.’’