Mini Paceman: Mini’s crossover coupe sheds its camouflage

Mini Paceman preview front motion viewThe latest version of the Mini, a two-door version of the Countryman crossover, is seeing the light of day. The car, called Paceman but also known as the Countryman Coupe, was shown with almost no camouflage on the company’s Facebook page.

Mini describes its newest model as “a two-door powerhouse ready to roar onto city streets soon,” adding that, “it’s not a ride fit for wallflowers.”

While it’s hard to imagine one of Mini’s cute little cars “roaring,” the Paceman definitely makes an impression. It’s basically a Countryman with two fewer doors and a lower, more coupe-like roof line. It almost looks like a regular Mini Cooper that’s been pumped up with butch styling, like a Hot Wheels designer was working on it.

The flared wheel arches make the car look a little sportier, but mainly help prove that this compact two-door is still an SUV. You have to look at the size of the driver in relation to the car to realize that the Paceman is much larger than a Cooper Hardtop.

The C-pillars are the one area still covered by camouflage, so it’s hard to tell whether the Paceman will have the full helmet-inspired roof from the Countryman and Mini Coupe. Thin pillars would be better for rear visibility, and they would make the car look less top-heavy.

The production Paceman closely resembles the Paceman concept from the 2011 Detroit Auto Show. At some point, Mini decided to change the name of the car to Countryman Coupe, but has now gone back to Paceman.

That was probably a good move; the alliteration in Mini’s lineup is getting a little heavy. We already have the Mini Cooper Coupe and Mini John Cooper Works Coupe; we don’t need a Mini Countryman John Cooper Works Coupe.Mini Paceman preview side view

The Paceman will be mechanically identical to the Countryman, so engine and transmission choices will likely be the same. The Countryman can be had with a 1.6-liter inline four with 121 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque, or a turbocharged version of the same engine with 181 hp and 192 lb-ft. Transmissions on the Countryman are a six-speed manual and six-speed automatic, with either front- or all-wheel drive.

With two less doors than its brother, the Paceman pares down the utility but dials up the style. Combining the iconic Mini styling with all-wheel drive and a less-mini cabin might be enough to attract buyers, even though this crossover will be lacking utility.

Will that be enough? We’ll find out early next year when the Paceman goes on sale, following a probable Paris Motor Show debut in September.


Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.

Lexus LC convertible concept teases a new open-air flagship

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Lexus LC convertible concept adds open-air motoring to the sleek LC's resume. But Lexus won't commit to a production version of the car just yet.

Self-driving, electric, and connected, the cars of CES 2019 hint at the future

Car companies remained surprisingly quiet during CES 2018. But they spoke up in 2019. From electric hatchbacks you can buy in 2019 to super-futuristic mood-detecting technology, here are the major announcements we covered during the event.
Home Theater

Crosley’s RSD mini-turntable is a 3-inch player made just for Record Store Day

What's cooler than playing retro albums on a vinyl turntable? Playing retro tracks on a tiny, three-inch turntable. That's what Crosley Radio is hoping, as it brings back the obscure three-inch vinyl format for Record Store Day.

Hyundai’s Veloster N hot hatchback will prove its mettle on the track

The Hyundai Veloster N will go racing to prove the credibility of Hyundai's new N performance division. Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Veloster N race car will compete in a class with other small cars.

Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs is an electric car with a 380-mile range, autonomous-driving capability, and a backseat designed for being chauffeured. Too bad it's just a concept car.

The 2020 Lexus RC F goes on a diet to run faster and hit harder

The Lexus RC F has been one of the heavier cars in its competitive set since its introduction. The Japanese firm's engineers set out to shed weight as they gave the model a mid-cycle update.

Fast and Furious fans get revved up: Toyota’s Supra sports car is back

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.

Big tech, bigger grille: BMW updates its 7 Series flagship for 2020

The BMW 7 Series will enter the 2020 model year with a host of updates inside, outside, and under the sheet metal. The new-look nose with a jumbo grille hides updated engines, while passengers benefit from smart tech features.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.

In McLaren’s 600LT Spider, the engine is the only sound system you’ll need

The McLaren 600LT Spider is the inevitable convertible version of the 600LT coupe, itself a lighter, more powerful version of the McLaren 570S. The 600LT Spider boasts a 592-horsepower, twin-turbo V8, and a loud exhaust system to hear it…

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.