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Closer Look: Mini Paceman

A 3-door “go kart”?

by on Sep.14, 2012

A first official look at the production Mini Paceman - which will formally debut in Paris this month.

We thought we’d have to wait for its official debut, scheduled for the end of the month at the Paris Motor Show, but Mini is weighing in with a new image and a lot more detail about the all-new Paceman model it has dubbed its first Sports Activity Coupe.

The Paceman is, as the name implies, a three-door spin-off of the Countryman, itself Mini’s first all-wheel-drive offering and its biggest model ever.  Long-rumored and initially denied, the British maker finally confirmed the production model during its “Mini Takes the States Tour” earlier this summer.

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The overall look won’t come as a surprise to those familiar with Mini and, in particular, the Countryman.  But it’s more than just a coupe version.  The doors are stretched, of course, but the helmet-like roof now has a downward slope that is reminiscent of the smaller Mini Coupe. Perhaps the most distinctive design feature is the use of horizontal taillights for the first time by the brand.

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First Drive: 2013 Mini Countryman Cooper S John Cooper Works

Mini to turn JCW into new performance sub-brand.

by on Dec.27, 2011

Faster than a speeding skier...the new 2013 Mini Countryman S John Cooper Works.

You’re likely to be halfway down the slopes by the time you can pronounce the full name of Mini’s newest – and fastest – crossover model, the Mini Countryman John Cooper Works.  Take our word for it, as we had our first chance to check out the Countryman JCW during a snow-covered preview in the Tyrolean Alps.

One of the semi-finalists for North American Truck of the Year, the Mini Countryman has generated more than its share of controversy since its 2010 debut.  No surprise: it’s not only the biggest offering ever from Mini and the first to fall into that gray space between car and truck, but it also was the first to offer all-wheel-drive – and four doors.

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But buyers seem to be dismissing the debate and focusing on the Countryman’s blend of functionality and fun-to-drive dynamics– making it the brand’s new best-seller.  So, we wondered as we packed up our ski gear, what would happen when you pack in some more punch?

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First Look: Mini Paceman

Setting the pace for further growth.

by on Dec.22, 2010

Tne Mini Paceman Concept will make its debut at the Detroit Auto Show, next month.

Few automakers have maintained a more aggressive pace, in recent years, than Mini, which has been rapidly rolling out an assortment of new products, such as the new Countryman crossover.  Now, it seems, that pace will quicken still more with the British marque planning another global preview at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, next month.

January 10th will bring the world premiere of the Paceman Concept, a model that Mini dubs a Sports Activity Vehicle, in keeping with parent BMW, which uses the SAV designation for its own X-models, such as the X5 and X6 crossovers.

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The Mini Paceman is based on the same four-wheel drive platform used by the Countryman and differs only slightly in terms of in length and shares the same width as the four-door Countryman.  But there’s plenty to distinguish the Paceman visually.

The new concept boasts a strikingly dynamic design with short overhangs and a fluid, very sporty feel.  The typical Mini features are still there, such as the large headlamps with chrome rings that extend into the fenders. But the low-mounted fog lamps and large under-bumper openings allow more air to reach the brakes and add to the sporty stance.

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