With their bulldog noses, it is difficult to distinguish the various Mini models, and the new Paceman Concept, which Mini announced for the upcoming Detroit auto show, does little to alleviate the problem.
The Paceman Concept is a coupe, much like the current Mini Cooper model. But the Paceman is based on the Countryman, Mini's new model that aspires to SUV status. As such, the Paceman is slightly larger than the Cooper and sits up higher.
Concept design cues include leather wrappings on the exterior door handles and a leather pull tab on the gas cap cover. Mini says the interior would use the same central rail as its Countryman model, and feature rear bucket seats.
Similar to the Countryman, the Paceman Concept comes with an all-wheel-drive system biased toward the front wheels but capable of putting all the power to the rears.
Mini chose the John Cooper Works-tuned engine for the concept. This turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder produces 211 horsepower.
Preview days for the 2011 Detroit auto show happen on January 10 and 11 in 2011, with public days following through January 23.