2013 MINI Paceman Hatchback - FROM $
The 2013 Mini Paceman combines the Countryman's utility with a two-door layout. It will no doubt be a niche offering.
What's New for 2013
The 2013 Mini Cooper Paceman is an all-new model.
Now officially slated for production, the 2013 Mini Paceman is essentially a two-door version of the Mini Countryman. It's the same size as the bigger four-door Countryman, but sits a half-inch closer to the ground, with a roof 1.7 inches lower than the Countryman's (Mini says the lower roof only sacrifices 0.5 inch of headroom). The Paceman also carries the same front fascia but adds a more raked tailgate, more swollen rear quarter panels and possibly blacked-out roof pillars for a tougher look.
The concept Paceman unveiled at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show carried the automaker's sauciest engine, a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder from the John Cooper Works models. The production version, however, will feature a less potent 1.6-liter four still capable of 181 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. Mini says that's good enough to get the Paceman up to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds. The new coupe will also offer a six-speed manual transmission, available all-wheel drive and retuned suspension, all in an effort to fulfill its role as a sportier, more dynamic Countryman.
In our first turn with an all-wheel-drive Paceman, we found it clearly the more athletic sibling, but still prone to a stiff ride and artificial steering feel, particularly when pushed hard. Our general impression: Stay with the 17-inch wheels, no matter how good the 18s look.
Inside, the Paceman closely follows the Countryman's lines, although the power window switches are relocated to the doors. Getting into the rear seats is easy enough, escaping them a little trickier. But we've got no doubt many buyers will be taken with the Paceman's larger volume -- there are 38.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the front seats -- and decidedly stylish coupe look.
Check back for a full review of the 2013 Mini Cooper Paceman, with pricing, specs and driving impressions, as it becomes available.