19th December, 2010
- AWD coupe-like concept car
A new Mini design concept will make its debut at America's Detroit Motor Show (NAIAS) which will
be held between Saturday 15th and Sunday 23rd January, 2011.
The Mini Paceman Concept design study endeavours to establish a new category of car combining the
fundamental Mini 'DNA' - dynamic capability, individual design – and gives them a fresh twist with
the help of cutting edge technology and an innovative new body concept. The Paceman combines the
classical Mini concept with the defining features of the Mini Counrtyman and the an attempt to look
like a coupe. The result is a Mini with visual design cues.
Although no decision has been made about a future production version, Paceman could form another
building block in the development of the Mini brand.
"It is ten years exactly since the new Mini was launched to the US market so there is a happy
symmetry in presenting an all-new concept at the Detroit Show," said Jochen Goller, Mini
Director for BMW UK Ltd. "Following last year’s launch of the Mini Countryman and the
forthcoming launches of the Mini Coupe and Roadster, the Paceman Concept shows once again not only
the innovative spirit and adventure among its design team, but also the potential breadth of the
Mini brand as it grows and develops."
The Mini Paceman Concept retains the familiar Mini family frontal appearance but adds its own
distinctive flavour. Large headlights with chrome surrounds extend deep into the front mudguards
and, together with the distinctively contoured bonnet, emphasise the imposing nose of the Paceman.
The radiator grille is essentially the same as that of the Cooper S Countryman barring additional
air intakes in the bumper to deliver improved brake ventilation and the incorporation of new deep
set fog lights.
From the side the Mini Paceman Concept features a fresh interpretation of the front guard and
side indicator that attracts the eye from the A-pillars down to the unique design 19 inch front
wheels. This rugged and sturdy design element is complemented by dark wheel arch surrounds with
matching side skirts that emphasise the masculine, sporting nature of Paceman.
The familiar Mini 'shoulder' line that rises towards the rear of the Paceman Concept also hints
at its sporting intent. Less familiar is the glass and roof treatment. As the 'waistline' rises the
flat roofline flows into a wide C-pillar that appears to be transparent. The windows appear to wrap
around the car like a band of glass with the roof ‘suspended’ on top and painted in a striking,
contrasting colour. This is known as the ‘helmet’ roof. The coupé-style windows taper towards the
rear and the whole effect is one of a dynamic wedge shape.
“In contrast to the more vertical design of the Mini Countryman, we’ve given the Mini Paceman
Concept a horizontal emphasis and accentuated the width of the car rather more to underline the
powerful appearance of the study,” explained Marcus Syring, Head of Mini Exterior Design.
A new interpretation of the classic coupé design has given the Mini Paceman Concept a
distinctive coupé tail that complements the 'athletic' character of the car. New rear lights
positioned at the outer edges of the broad, muscular rear quarter underline the dominance of
horizontal lines, which run parallel to one another and emphasise the wide track of the rear axle.
As with the Mini Cooper S Countryman, the rear apron of the Mini Paceman Concept features a
diffuser that channels the airflow between the twin exhausts and further enhances the car’s
aerodynamic properties. Even the licence plate recess echoes the form of the front air intake in
order to forge a link between the front and rear of the car.
The Mini Paceman Concept measures 4,110 millimetres in length, 1,789 millimetres in width and
1,541 millimetres in height. In keeping with the Mini style, the Paceman has short front and rear
overhangs to facilitate the familiar go kart type driving responses.
The interior of the Mini Paceman Concept deliberately draws on Mini’s unique and distinctive
design language, yet it also imparts a refreshing new look. Behind the study’s exterior lies an
elegant yet sporty interior environment that exudes premium quality and funky design. The
instrument panel of the Mini design study is defined by its distinctive, concave forms and the
sporting yet functional impression it makes. The central air vents, central speedometer and
gearshift lever feature outer rings in a contrasting colour while large side air vents underline
the Mini character still further.
The slim centre console, which maximises legroom for the driver and front passenger, coalesces
into the Centre Rail pioneered by the Mini Countryman, thereby providing a visual and functional
link between the front and rear seats. This unique and innovative U-profile rail system runs along
the centreline of the passenger compartment as far as the rear seat backrests. Light shades of
leather lend an expression of luxurious allure to the interior of the Mini Paceman, while a new
interpretation of the brand’s familiar elliptical door and side trim extends along the length of
the cabin, taking in the B-pillar and emphasising the length of the interior. Shaped armrests
with large stowage compartments, ergonomically designed door pulls and the speakers for the sound
system are embedded in the main element of this ellipse.
Behind the front sports seats are two comfortably-shaped individual rear seats designed with
backrests that merge distinctively into the seat sides in order to provide fully contoured
passenger support. The “club lounge” character thus provided underlines the individual and
unconventional nature of the Mini Paceman Concept and helps turn every journey into an experience
for the rear passengers every bit as much as it is for those in the front.
The Mini Paceman Concept has been designed to allow the deployment of the most powerful engine
currently available in the Mini line-up. The Mini John Cooper Works 1.6-litre twin-scroll
turbocharged engine gives the Mini Paceman Concept the capacity to deliver the outstanding
performance its appearance promises. This 16 valve, four cylinder unit develops 155 kW (211 hp)
and generates maximum torque of 260 Nm (192 lb-ft), the latter value having the capacity to reach
280 Nm (207 lb-ft) in brief bursts thanks to the Overboost function.
Its Mini Countryman origin give this new Mini concept study an ideal platform for the Mini ALL4
permanent all-wheel-drive system. The ALL4 features an electromagnetic centre differential
positioned directly on the final drive which varies the distribution of power seamlessly between
the front and rear axles. In normal driving conditions up to 50 per cent of the drive is sent to
the rear wheels, but in extreme situations as much as 100 per cent can be directed to the rear.
The Mini Paceman Concept is, of course, also available in two wheel drive form but harnessing
the power of the punchy four-cylinder engine in all-wheel-drive form offers an extra dose of
driving fun through a traction-led, sporting expression of the agile handling for which Mini is
Mini chassis technology has been especially developed for the Mini Paceman Concept to transform
the potential of its potent engine into a driving experience that offers inspiring agility,
impressive poise and always in complete safety. While it delivers precise and sporting handling it
is the high standard of compliant ride comfort that truly sets the Mini Paceman Concept apart.
The front axle features MacPherson spring struts with lower track control arms which, combined
with Electric Power Steering with speed-sensitive power assistance, plays a major role in
delivering the response and agility customers expect from a Mini. The Paceman’s multi-link rear
axle was developed using chassis expertise and is designed for use in both the front-wheel-drive
and the ALL4 all-wheel-drive versions of the car.
The Mini Paceman Concept embodies the idea of an incomparable driving experience in a way that
meets the needs of modern, lifestyle-oriented customers but it also remains true to the character
of the Mini brand.
“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,” explained Jochen Goller.
“The Mini Paceman Concept aims to deliver a particularly emotional driving experience and
demonstrates this ability in a style typical of the brand. I believe we are offering clear evidence
of how totally new vehicle concepts can still be developed through unconventional creativity,”