MINI keeps up the pace with the new Paceman Concept
December 18, 2010 ~ A new MINI design concept, the MINI Paceman Concept vehicle, will make its debut at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) which will be held January 10 - 23, 2011. Although no decision has been made about a future production version, Paceman could form yet another building block in the development of the MINI brand.
A MINI Crossover Coupé – urban and masculine.
The MINI Paceman Concept retains the familiar MINI family frontal appearance but adds its own distinctive flavor. Large headlights with chrome surrounds extend deep into the front wings, and together with the distinctively contoured bonnet, emphasize the imposing nose of the Paceman. The radiator grill is essentially the same as that of the Cooper S Countryman, with 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 wing 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 emphasize 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 color. 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 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 wings underline the dominance of horizontal lines, which run parallel to one another and emphasize the wide track of the rear axle.
As with the MINI Cooper S Countryman, the rear bumper 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 license plate recess echoes the form of the front air intake in order to forge a stylistic link between the front and rear of the car.
The MINI Paceman Concept measures 4,110 millimeters in length, 1,789 millimeters in width and 1,541 millimeters in height. In archetypal MINI style, the Paceman has short front and rear overhangs to facilitate the familiar go-kart responsiveness.
Interior: a blend of modern function and luxurious character.
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 masculine exterior lies an elegant yet sporty interior environment that exudes premium quality and funky design. The instrument panel of the MINI study is defined by its distinctive, concave forms and the sporting, yet functional impression it creates. The central air
vents, Central Speedo and gearshift lever feature outer rings in a contrasting color, while large side air vents underline the MINI character further.
The slim center console, which maximizes legroom for the driver and front passenger, merges into the Center Rail pioneered by the MINI Countryman, thereby creating a visual and functional link between the front and rear seats. This unique and innovative U-profile rail system runs along the centerline 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 emphasizing 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 create fully contoured passenger support. The “club lounge” character thus created 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.
Drive system: powerful and efficient.
The MINI Paceman Concept has been designed to allow the deployment of the most powerful engine currently available in the MINI range. The MINI John Cooper Works 1.6-liter 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 produces 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 roots give this new MINI concept study an ideal platform for the MINI ALL4 permanent all-wheel-drive system. ALL4 features an electromagnetic center differential positioned directly on the final drive, which varies the distribution of power seamlessly between the front and rear axles. In normal driving conditions 100 percent of the drive is sent to the front wheels, and in extreme situations as much as 50 percent can be directed to the rear.
Chassis: the best handling characteristics in the segment.
MINI chassis technology has been specially 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 proven BMW Group chassis expertise.
MINI Paceman Concept: an idea ahead of the game – once again.
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.