In 2001, the BMW Group revived the concept of the original MINI creating a new brand from a single, three-door hatchback model. Fast forward to today, and the British automaker's range has exploded with the arrival of a number of models including the soft-top Convertible, the JCW specials, the Clubman estate and the Countryman crossover, while two two more vehicles, the Coupe and Speedster, which were shown in concept form last year, have already been confirmed for production.
But that doesn't seem to be enough for the BMW Group that has announced a new concept model called the MINI Paceman, which will make its debut at the Detroit motorshow in January, that will almost certainly spawn yet another production vehicle.
Based on the Countryman five-door crossover, the Paceman is described by the company as a Sports Activity Coupé. Think of it as something like a MINI flavored X6 with two doors.
“With the MINI Countryman having already opened up a fascinating new avenue in the expansion of the brand family, the designers are now tapping into the potential of its state-of-the-art drive technology and flexible space concept to develop additional market opportunities in a coupé sibling,” said Jochen Goller, MINI Director for BMW UK Ltd.
In typical MINI style, the conversion from five-door to three door entailed more than simply removing the rear doors. The Paceman comes with larger frameless front doors that have been extended in n length by 16 inches, while the blistered rear fenders feature a more dramatic styling. In addition, the car gets a sloping roofline and a unique rear end.
Measuring 4,110 mm in length, 1,789 mm in width and 1,541 mm in height, the Paceman is also 13mm longer and 20 mm lower than its five-door counterpart.
We only have a couple of renderings of the strictly four-seater interior, but from what we can tell, the Paceman will feature unique trim and a sportier ambience.
Being that the concept is based on the Countryman, it comes to no surprise that the concept is powered by the JCW 1.6-litre twin-scroll turbocharged four-pot with 211HP and 260Nm (192 lb-ft) of peak torque, the latter value having the capacity to reach 280 Nm (207 lb-ft) in overboost function.
Drive is channeled through a six-speed manual gearbox and MINI's ALL4 permanent all-wheel-drive system, which under normal conditions equally splits toque between the front and rear wheels, but can send up to 100 per cent to the rear axle in extreme conditions. MINI added that the Paceman can also make use of a front-wheel drive layout.
More details on MINI's new concept car will be released at the upcoming Detroit Motor Show.