Mini has released first images of its all-new Paceman. Scheduled to go on sale in the UK next March, the seven-model, three-door coupe range will start from £18,970.
Sitting on the same floor structure as the Countryman, the new Paceman also shares the five-door’s wheelbase and track.
It does though look much sportier. At 1518mm, the four-seater’s roof is 40mm lower, yet headroom is reduced by only 10mm. Significantly, the Paceman also runs 10cm closer to the ground than its bigger brother.
Boot space is 330 litres – about 20 litres down on the Countryman – increasing to 1080 litres when the rear seats are folded flat.
The car’s interior has been designed specifically for this model. Its highlight is the innovative rear seat, which has been styled around a lounge concept.
Two individual chairs provide generous levels of head, shoulder and knee room with outstanding comfort and support. Armrests have been integrated into the rear trim.
A two-section version of the Mini Centre Rail storage and attachment system — first seen in the Countryman — comes as standard. A full-length variant is available as an option.
Due to take its official bow at this month’s Paris Motor Show, the entry-level Cooper is powered by a 119bhp, 118lb/ft version of the turbocharged 1.6-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine.
The 181bhp Cooper S can sprint from 0-62mph in 7.5sec. The S is available as either front-wheel drive or four-wheel-drive ‘ALL4’, which will set you back an additional £1100. The 4WD is also available on both diesels.
The entry-level oilburner is the 110bhp front-wheel drive Cooper D, which costs £20,210. Sensibly, it’s also the most frugal car on offer in the range, returning 64.2mpg when mated to a six-speed manual transmission. It also emits just 115g/km CO2.
At £23,070, the 2.0 143bhp Cooper SD is the most expensive version in 2WD trim. It’s good for 61.4mpg and 122g/km.
Mini has designed the Paceman to deliver a more sportier drive the Countryman, while at the same time providing more space than the standard Mini hatch.
Lowered suspension is part of the Paceman’s standard specification, and the springs and shock absorbers have been retuned to offer more direct handling.
Interestingly, the car can be ordered with regular suspension and ride height as a no-cost option.
And as you would expect, all models come with a range of environmentally-efficient technology fitted as standard, including Auto Start/Stop, Shift Point Display, Brake Energy Regeneration and on-demand operation of ancillary units.