The MINI Paceman Concept, if built, promises to be the first Sports Activity Coupe in the small premium car segment, and with the option of permanent all-wheel-drive it could be another car to keep you moving in the snow.
The Paceman is effectively a coupe version of the MINI Countryman , i.e. it’s slightly larger than a normal MINI hatch, and it’s styling makes it looks low and wide. It’s designed to take the most powerful engine currently available in the MINI range, the 211 hp MINI John Cooper Works 1.6-litre twin-scroll turbocharged unit.
To transmit the power to the road, the MINI ALL4 permanent all-wheel-drive system features an electromagnetic centre differential positioned directly on the final drive which varies the distribution of power 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 idea is that the Paceman would also be available in two-wheel drive form.
Of course, with its chassis, and short front and rear overhangs, it’s no surprise that MINI promises that the Paceman will offer the brand’s traditional go-kart like handing. However MINI also claims that it will have compliant ride comfort. Inside it comes with the Centre Rail pioneered by the MINI Countryman.
The Paceman Concept design concept will make its debut at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) which will be held between 10-23 January 2011. MINI says that no decision has been made about a future production version but we think we’ll see one…
However before that there will be the launches of the MINI Coupé and Roadster.