These are the first official pictures of Mini’s not-so-mini Paceman Concept. Mini calls it a Sports Activity Coupe (SAC), but really it’s just a two-door Countryman. And as CAR revealed way back in April 2009, a second sportier version of Mini's biggest model is on the way: the Paceman will almost certainly reach production.
The Mini Paceman Concept looks rather big and bulky for a coupe. What’s going on under the skin?
The four-seater Paceman is based on the Countryman, but it's 20mm lower and 13mm longer – the Paceman is 4110mm long, 1789mm wide and 1541mm high, while the Countryman measures 4097/1789/1561mm.
A John Cooper Works-spec 1.6-litre turbocharged engine provides the Paceman Concept with 208bhp and 192lb ft, with an overboost function bumping torque up to 207lb ft. The Paceman Concept gets a permanent all-wheel-drive system, with an electromagnetic centre differential to send 100% of the power to the rear wheels in extreme circumstances.
The design sketches show a typical Mini interior, albeit with champagne glasses mounted on the Mini Cenre Rail, and a removable front passenger seat that enables a rear passenger to stretch their legs.
The Mini Paceman Concept looks normal on the inside, but what about the outside?
Have you ever fancied brown leather-clad door handles and a fuel filler cap with a piece of cow hide dangling off it? Well if you have, the Mini Paceman could be the car for you.
Ignore the concept car frippery, and you'll see that the Paceman drops a few hints towards Mini's future design direction. The front end features the traditional family face, but there's been a departure from the norm at the back. The new rear lights stretch around the corners of the car to rest atop the wheelarches, and their high-set position and the relatively shallow rear window combine to give the Paceman a very wide and bulky rear end.
The Mini Paceman Concept will make its public debut at the 2011 North American International Auto Show, held in Detroit from 10 until 23 January, and CAR will be there to keep you up-to-date with all the latest news.
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