JUST when I think I have got over my addiction, MINI hooks me in again. Now the seventh unique member of the family has been launched.
With sporty exterior design, lowered suspension for a dynamic ride and a reinterpretation of the familiar interior, the all-new Paceman is styled as a coupe interpretation of the Countryman. Four versions will be available next March, including the MINI Cooper S Paceman which will have a 0-100kms of just 7.5 seconds. The Paceman will sell alongside the Hatch, Clubman, Convertible, Countryman, Coupe and Roadster.
The interior has been designed specifically for this model. Its highlight is the innovative rear seat, which has been styled around a lounge concept. The Paceman is a strict four-seater, though practicality has not been sacrificed. Folding down the rear seats expands the rear load-carrying capacity from 330 litres to a maximum of 1,080 litres.
In the front, the raised seating position gives an excellent view in every direction. Buttons for the windows, which have been toggle switches below the speedo on every MINI to date, move to the door trim panel.
MINI's trademark go-kart handling will be a key part of the Paceman's appeal, enhanced by the optional all-wheel drive transmission.
From launch, Paceman customers will have the choice of four powerful four-cylinder engines, two petrol and two diesel. All come with a six-speed manual gearbox, or the optional six-speed automatic with Steptronic function for manual control.
For petrol buyers, the MINI Cooper Paceman features a 1.6-litre 122bhp unit offering fuel economy of 47.1mpg with CO2 emissions of 140 g/km. For those who prefer diesel, the MINI Cooper D Paceman uses a 1.6-litre 112bhp turbocharged engine with a frugal 64.2mpg fuel economy and 115g/km emissions. The flagship diesel is the MINI Cooper SD Paceman, which gets a 2.0-litre 143bhp engine. Fuel economy is 61.4mpg with an emissions figure of 122g/km. There is an extensive range of safety equipment.
Prices will start at just €27,660 (OTR). Diesels start at €29,050 with the ALL4 Paceman at a tasty €31,410.