Since its resurrection by BMW in 2001, MINI has proven that consumers will buy premium cars in the compact segment. Now it aims to prove naysayers again, combing its upscale small car philosophy in a totally original package: a three-door crossover.
Called a ‘Sports Activity Coupe’ the MINI Paceman was officially revealed today at the Paris Motor Show. It’s the seventh model in the brand’s growing lineup and the second to feature the All4 AWD system.
While a high-performance John Cooper Works model is expected in a year’s time, at launch the car will come standard with a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder making a rather inadequate 121-hp and 118 lb-ft of torque. MINI claims that will deliver a 0-62 mph time of 10.6 seconds with the six-speed manual, while those who don’t mind being passed by a Prius can opt for the six-speed automatic with an 11.5 second time.
A more respectable powerplant comes in a turbocharged version of that same engine with 181-hp and 177 lb-ft of torque, with 192 lb-ft available in shorts bursts in an overboost form. So equipped the MINI Cooper S Paceman can hit 62 mph in 7.7 seconds with the automatic or 7.4 seconds with the manual.
With official fuel economy numbers still to come, MINI has confirmed the Paceman will be the first of its US models to receive a Brake Energy Regeneration system as well as an Auto Start/Stop function that shuts off the engine when the car is at idle. Both technologies work to conserve fuel.
A four-seater inside, standard equipment includes air conditioning, electric power mirrors, a leather steering wheel with redundant stereo controls and cruise control plus a CD player and an auxiliary input. Those looking for more can add optional extras like heated seats, a power moonroof, keyless access and Xenon headlights. A sport button as well as an additional button for Dynamic Stability Control can be added. Base wheels are 17-inchers, while both 18 and 19-inch models can be added on while a lowered Sport suspension comes standard. (A regular suspension setup can be had at no extra cost).
Favoring Apple users, the MINI Connected system is also available as an upgrade and offers full iPhone integration, with a MINI Connected App bringing aspects of Facebook and Twitter into the car, as well as streaming web radio and a selection of other apps.