Paris Auto Show — 2012 2012 MINI Paceman

Sep 17, 2012
Author: Evgeniy Sherstobitov
Photos: Mini
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The MINI brand is once again combining the expansion of its model range with a foray into a new vehicle class. Indeed, the MINI Paceman is the first Sports Activity Coupe in the premium small and compact segment. Its powerful, dynamically stretched coupe lines and hallmark MINI go-kart feeling team up with the exclusive ambience of its variable-usage interior to make the MINI Paceman a pioneer in the urban environment. Sporting prowess and versatility also define the driving characteristics of the MINI Paceman. Four powerful engine variants will be available from launch, and the standard specification of the MINI Paceman will also include lowered sports suspension. This is the second model (after the MINI Countryman), moreover, to offer the option of channelling its engine power to the road through all four wheels.

The seventh model in the MINI family has a character all of its own, while displaying clear ties to the innovative and inimitable style of the British premium brand. Its innovative vehicle concept takes its cues from the needs of modern target groups, who appreciate its confident appearance as much as the infectious driving fun on offer at the wheel. With its two doors and large tailgate, plus two full-size individual rear seats, the MINI Paceman complements the elegant sportiness of its proportions with a new rendering of the familiar MINI interior. The slightly raised seating position in the front of the car provides the driver and front passenger with an excellent view over the road, while the rear passengers enjoy generous levels of space, outstanding lateral support and exceptional comfort in a lounge-style ambience. Folding down the rear seats expands the load capacity of the MINI Paceman from 330 to a maximum 1,080 litres.

The innovative concept of a compact Sports Activity Coupe is expressed in a body design that combines dynamically stretched proportions with a muscular stance. This authentic embodiment of the MINI Paceman’s multifaceted driving properties is achieved within the template of the established MINI design language. Its inspirational sporting credentials are immediately clear, as is the potential for broadening its range of use with the addition of ALL4 permanent all-wheel drive.

Traditional MINI design cues, such as the black bordering on the lower edge of the body, the side indicator surround on the diagonal link between the A-pillar and front wheel arch, and the clear three-level split of body, passenger compartment and roof, point – in a distinctive Paceman way – to their MINI family ties. The front end, for example, exudes power and presence thanks to its large, distinctively shaped headlights, strikingly sculptured bonnet and upright hexagonal radiator grille, which is framed on the MINI Paceman by a particularly broad chrome surround.


The fresh and individual character of the MINI Paceman comes across most prominently when the car is viewed from the side. Dynamically sweeping lines and powerfully curved surfaces imbue the car’s appearance with sporting elegance. The coupe-style roof, swooping downwards towards the rear, sits almost seamlessly atop the passenger compartment. Its distinctive “helmet” contours fit neatly into the coupe mould, the roofline flowing into the standard rear spoiler. The steadily rising shoulderline and gently downward-sloping roofline create side window surfaces that taper towards the rear, emphasising the wedge shape of the silhouette particularly clearly. The long doors each have a high character line, which connects the front and rear wheel arches and gives the body a lower-slung appearance. The extremely muscular rear wheel arches underline the MINI Paceman’s sporting credentials, including its ability to send a portion of its engine power through the rear wheels.

The most eye-catching new feature of the rear end are the rear lights which, in a first for MINI, display a horizontal design. As with the slim and sloping coupe-style rear window, the chrome strip below it and the horizontal creases on the tailgate and rear apron, the form of the lights further accentuates the car’s width. The concentric segmentation of the light sources in the rear lights is very much in keeping with brand tradition. The same can be said of the rear as a whole, which increases in width as it heads towards the road, drawing attention to the car’s powerful stance. The MINI Paceman is the first member of the brand’s line-up to be identified by a rear nameplate.

Eight exterior paint shades are available for the MINI Paceman, including the new Brilliant Copper, Blazing Red and – exclusively for the MINI Paceman – Starlight Blue variants. The roof and exterior mirror caps can be painted in body colour, white or black.

A model-specific interpretation of traditional MINI design principles also shapes the look of the interior. The extensive use of horizontal elements champions the cause of sporting elegance. For example, the distinctive door ellipses have an extremely shallow and prominently three-dimensional form and extend back beyond the B-pillars into the rear compartment. The ellipses border the armrests and their integrated door pull recesses. Added to which, for the first time in a MINI the side window controls are integrated into the door trim. If the optional lighting package is specified, the door ellipses are bathed in an atmospheric light.


Matt-finished, ring-shaped borders in Carbon Black emphasise the form of the Centre Speedo and the two air vents positioned alongside it. Decorative inner rings in high-gloss black or optional chrome are integrated as standard into the surrounds for the air vents and Centre Speedo. Positioned below the Centre Speedo, the CD/DVD and air conditioning control panel and toggle switches are bordered in a contrasting colour. Here, the matt black surfaces dovetail appealingly with the chromed controls.

The MINI Paceman has been designed squarely as a four-seater. The slightly raised seating position in the front of the car provides the driver and front passenger with an excellent view over the road. This effect is enhanced by the slightly forward-leaning arrangement of the familiar Centre Speedo.
The pair of individual seats in the rear offer impressive shoulder room and headroom, outstanding lateral support and exceptional comfort, while cut-outs in the front seat backrests optimise legroom. The lounge character of the rear compartment is further enhanced by the armrests in the side panels. These are integrated into a circular rear trim element, which matches the colour and material of the seats. The individual seat layout is highlighted by two mouldings in the load compartment cover which extend out from immediately behind the head restraints into the rear.

The standard-fitted Centre Rail storage and attachment system runs from just aft of the gearshift or selector lever on the centre console to its finishing point between the front seats. The second section of the Centre Rail is found between the rear seats and extends up to the partition between the rear compartment and boot area. This makes it easier to climb over from one of the two seats to the other. A single-section Centre Rail extending between both rows of seats can be ordered as an option, offering even greater flexibility when it comes to the positioning of standard and optional function elements. The optional lighting package includes illumination of both the Centre Rail and door panels.

Front sports seats are also part of the standard specification for the MINI Paceman. As an alternative to the standard Diagonal Track cloth upholstery, customers can specify the Hot Cross cloth/leather combination, Gravity leather trim or exclusive Lounge leather variant. A bespoke selection of upholstery colours, interior surfaces, Colour Lines and other design features offers a wide range of individualisation options for the interior.


The high-opening tailgate of the MINI Paceman and its low boot sill allow the luggage area to be accessed in comfort. Load capacity stands at 330 litres, increasing to 1,080 litres when the rear seat backrests are folded down.
The options list for the MINI Paceman contains a storage package (containing features such as additional function elements for the Centre Rail), a rear carrier preparation and a trailer coupling.

Customers can take on-board entertainment and navigation capability to new levels with the radio MINI Boost CD, radio MINI Visual Boost, harman/kardon hi-fi loudspeaker system and MINI navigation system. A voice control system, a hands-free system/mobile phone preparation and a DAB tuner for receiving digital radio programmes can also be specified. Cars fitted with the radio MINI Visual Boost or MINI navigation system can also be ordered with the MINI Connected option, which allows full Apple iPhone integration and therefore the use of innovative infotainment, communications and driving experience functions. Specially developed apps open the door to a unique and constantly expanding variety of functions such as web radio,

Facebook and Twitter usage, Dynamic Music, Driving Excitement, Mission Control and the MINIMALISM Analyser.
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