The seventh MINI model has broken cover in Europe – the sporty two-door, four-seat fastback model called ‘Paceman’.
MINI Australia will launch the Paceman early next year in similar specifications to the current Countryman model – Cooper and Cooper S. Pricing has not been finalized but BMW Australia’s Scott Croaker told Car Showroom, the Pacemen would carry a small premium over the Countryman – probably in the region of $2,000.
While the stretched coupe lines invoke memories of the 1960s fastback Minis raced successful in Australia by the great Brian Foley, the 2012 version affords seats for four and some practicality thanks to its large tailgate. Luggage space with all seats in-place is 330-litres but you can fold-down the two rear seats to provide some 1080-litres.
The contrast-colour roof slopes sharply to the rear which contains a distinctive first for MINI – horizontal tail-lights.
Expect the Cooper version to employ the 90kW/160Nm 1.6-litre engine and the Cooper S version to score the turbocharged version with 135kW/240Nm. In Europe, the MINI Paceman is available in both two-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models.
Underneath the Paceman sits on a lowered, sports version of MINI’s MacPherson strut front/multi-link rear suspension.