Ten years ago, the first generation of the new Mini hardtop showed its face on North American soil for the first time when it rolled out onto the stage at the Detroit show. Not being interested in missing such a big anniversary, Mini has picked the Motor City to once again debut something new, interesting, and wearing two doors. Meet the Paceman.
It’s easy to see exactly what the Paceman is, and as a result it’s quite easy to see production of the new model getting the green light very soon. It’s essentially just a Countryman crossover missing two doors, giving it a sportier attitude as a result. It’s probably the best application yet of Mini’s “helmet” roofline, which dips down at the rear and looks a little stranger on things like the coupe concept from a few years back. One detail we really like is the little kick in the shoulder line at the rear, which gives the Paceman a bit of aggression.
The real selling point of the Paceman is its hot drivetrain, which takes the 211-hp John Cooper Works version of the company’s 1.6-liter turbo and marries it to the Countryman’s new ALL4 all-wheel drive system. Essentially, this is a Mini JCW hardtop with a little more space, a bit more ground clearance, and the hard-launch capabilities of that all-wheel drive system. If there’s still any question of whether the company will build the thing, count us as firmly on the “yea” side.