Mini steps up the pace

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By STU­ART MARTIN

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, a 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 Aus­tri­an­built Pace­man 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 lineup, where you have a Cooper vari­ant but only in front-wheel drive.’’

The cabin is typ­i­cal mod­ern-day 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, fol­low­ing the 160kW/280Nm Coun­try­man JCW.

There will also be Cooper D and 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.’’

Longer doors, a lower roofline and ta­pered glass gives the Pace­man a sleeker, coupe-like pro­file

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