The front-wheel drive Paceman - due to go on sale early to mid-2013 and likely come here following that - is claimed by Mini to be the world’s first small premium “Sports Activity Coupe”. It’s based on the Mini Countryman SUV, but with two less doors, a sleeker roofline and lowered suspension.
Fans of Mini styling will find nothing to shock in the cabin, with the biggest change the window switchgear migrating from the centre dash to the doors. And in signature Mini practice, there’ll be a host of colours combinations to pick for body, roof and side mirrors.
The Paceman shares the same four-cylinder engine line-up we get here in the Countryman: a 105kW/305Nm turbodiesel and 90kW/160Nm, 82kW/270Nm and 135kW/240Nm petrol units - the last of those in the Cooper S that Mini says gets to 100km/h in 7.5 seconds and hits a top speed of 217km/h.
Transmission choices are six-speed manual and six-speed automatic, with all-wheel drive as an option. A John Cooper Works version is also reportedly on the plan, and is bound to take the performance promise above the opening top-spec Cooper S.