Recently, MINI has been growing to accept a broader range of admirers. As the longer wheelbase Clubman arrived on sale in 2008, the most awaited promise for the past two years was MINI’s first ever crossover vehicle called the Countryman. Showing off their interpretation of four-door configuration and all-wheel drive, it appears that the Countryman’s positive initial reception has allowed MINI to weather concerns they might be losing touch with their brand’s true DNA. However, for fans of the two-door MINI cars, a 2011 concept to be presented at the upcoming North American International Auto Show in Detroit will provide a sight for sore eyes.
Deriving mechanics from the new MINI Countryman, the Paceman Concept is a design study contemplating a tantalizingly, athletic form sharing crossover utility in what they call “muscle car design cues”. Borrowing heavily from the Countryman S, the Paceman Concept projection integrates a similar front end intake setup and the rear diffuser. Distinguished with the two-door look featuring a sporty rear roof profile, designers behind the MINI Paceman Concept wants to emphasize a wider profile. Although the MINI Countryman retains the 70.4-inch width, the Paceman Concept involves a lowered roof line of about 0.8 inches and some mild side skirts in order to accomplish the desired illusion. MINI sport look is enhanced further by 19-inch custom wheels within the small confides.
Further blurring the categorization of modern all-wheel drive vehicles by calling their creation a Sport Activity Coupe, the MINI Paceman Concept is constructed to utilize front-wheel drive and MINI’s ALL4 all-wheel drive. Powering the MINI Paceman Concept, the John Cooper Works 1.6 twin-scroll turbocharged engine four-cylinder expels a meaningful 211 horsepower to allow this concept vehicle to step beyond its stationary aggression. Through an Overboost function, torque production extends up to a 207 foot-pound range.
Showcasing MINI traits such as the center-mounted speedometer, the Paceman Concept realizes a great sense of premium-quality sportiness. Instead of luring three adults into what would more than likely be a claustrophobic rear seating area, the MINI Paceman Concept adapts to an interior for four total passengers. Said to be an attempt to bring some of the front seat driving experience to the rear, individual back seats each feature their own armrests.
While the truck-based sport utility vehicle were originally quite prevalent in two-door body styles, the greater sales of four-door utility vehicles eventually caused manufacturers to see little value in developing two structurally different models of the same product. However, Land Rover has recently encouraged a revisiting the two-door utility concept with the 2012 Range Rover Evoque. Though MINI indicates the Paceman is a concept car, the vehicle appears very viable for a future production release.
With the 2012 Honda Civic Concept and the GMC Sierra All-Terrain HD already announced for debut early next month in Detroit, manufacturers conceptual license appears to be more grounded on production-ready design studies.
Information and photo source: MINI and Newspress UK