Here we have the answer to the question: 'what would a high-riding Mini coupe-cum-SUV four-seater hot hatch look like?' Granted, it's not a question many have asked, but that hasn't stopped Mini bringing us the Paceman John Cooper Works: all 215bhp of it.
Is this the fastest Mini Paceman yet?
As you'd expect, the JCW Paceman sits atop the range, thanks to its 215bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged engine. That's 34bhp up on a Cooper S model, and torque has swelled from 192lb ft to 207lb ft. Mini claims a 140mph top speed and 0-62mph in 6.9sec, with either the six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox. Four-wheel drive is standard and can send up to 100% of power to the rear wheels in order to regain traction.
Mini says the Paceman JCW will return a maximum of 38.2mpg, and coughs out 172g/km in manual guise. Pressing the Sport button weights up the steering, increases the exhaust noise and sharpens the throttle response.
What has Mini done to the Paceman JCW visually?
Factory-fitted 18-inch rims and sports suspension with a 10mm ride drop set the JCW apart. The bodykit is predictable Mini fare, sharing much with the JCW Countryman, but the Paceman gets bespoke full-length (fake) side skirt air intakes.
Inside the piano-black-trimmed four-seater cabin, the JCW gets a sporty steering wheel, red stitching, dark-coloured dials and a sackful of JCW badging. Cloth sports seats are standard, and leather will be an option.
Base-spec, non-accessorised cars will start from £29,535, and go on sale in spring 2013.
How practical is the Mini Paceman John Cooper Works?
More sensible than those squashed Mini Countryman looks suggest. With individual seats front and rear, Mini promises space for four grown-ups and claims up to 1080 litres of luggage space with the rear pews folded.