Mini Paceman (2012) first official pictures

Published: 13 September 2012

This is a controversial one. It's the new Mini Paceman, a coupe version of the Countryman SUV, which itself is an upsized take on the Mini hatch. If that leaves you dazed and confused, angry even, as to why anyone would want to own such a thing, this isn't the car for you. If not, you're probably on the phone to your nearest BMW Mini dealer already, imagining bonnet stripes and roof decals...

It's the seventh model in the Mini range, and will be available with the familiar range of petrol and diesel four-cylinder engines, as well as a hot turbocharged Cooper S model. Power outputs across the range vary from 111bhp to 181bhp.

The launch flagship Paceman Cooper S will do 135mph and 62mph in 7.5secs, though we'd expect to see that bettered when Mini inevitably does a JCW variant. Lowered sports suspension is standard fit, but can be swapped for regular damping rates and ride height at no extra cost.

The 2012 Mini Paceman - on the outside

The Paceman is the same width as the regular Countryman, but 13mm lower and 20mm longer to emphasise its coupe brief. The rear lights cut into the flanks to give the bluff rear a bit more 'edge', and you can spec wheels 16 to 19 inches in diameter.

You'll make your own mind up on the styling, but to these eyes it is less odd than the rather fussy glasshouse and blobby rear seen on the Countryman. Do you agree, or is another Mini too far? Tell us in the comments below.

The Mini Paceman's practicality

Standard kit includes air-con, sports seats, and the Mini 'centre rail' that allows owners to clip bespoke accessories to the centre console, depending on what they use most in the car. So, if it's a phone holder or sunglasses case you need one week and a cupholder the next, you can mix and match your interior accoutrements.

Like the other coupe-cum-SUV in the BMW family, the X6, the Paceman is strictly homologated as a four-seater, with two individual chairs in the rear, where headroom is slightly reduced versus the Coubntryman, thanks to the sloping roof. Bootspace is 300 litres with all four seats up and 1080 with the rears down.

The Paceman will be on display at the Paris motor show later this month.