Mini continues to stretch and squeeze the Cooper with the debut of the Mini Cooper Paceman, the coupe variant of the enlarged Countryman.
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With the debut of the Cooper Paceman, Mini's lineup will grow to a total of seven models.
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The Paceman is based on the enlarged Countryman and retains its ALL-4 all-wheel drive system.
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The "backward baseball cap" roofline of the Mini Coupe has been stretched to fit the larger vehicle.
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The Mini Cooper Paceman is a coupe of sorts, stepping down to two doors versus the Countryman's four.
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Dimensions haven't been released just yet, so we're not sure if the Cooper Paceman is shorter in length than the Countryman. The crossover does appear to sit lower on its suspension than the four-door.
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The full-frontal view isn't the Paceman's best angle. Something about the bug eyes and frowning upper grill reminds me of a startled Muppet.
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Horizontal tail lamps
To help create the illusion of a low and wide coupe, Mini has moved to a horizontal tail lamps orientation -- a first for the brand.
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Mini has also sculpted the rear end to accentuated the rear fender flairs, giving the Paceman a more muscular appearance than the doughy Countryman.
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Inside, the Paceman retains the four-seater configuration for the Countryman, complete with that annoying center rail gimmick. Hopefully, a bench seat option will be made available.
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The larger Paceman gains the advantage of increased storage space over the standard Mini Cooper models.
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Under the hood, the Mini Paceman will be powered by the same engine options as the Countryman. This means either a 121-horsepower 1.6-liter engine or a 181-horsepower turbocharged mill for the "Cooper S" variant. European markets will also have the choice of two diesel power plants.
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John Cooper Works in the works
Mini has stated in its release that a John Cooper Works variant of the Cooper Paceman is in development.
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It would appear that the Paceman is aimed at affluent city dwellers who want a blend of crossover cargo space, small-car park-ability, and a sporty appearance.
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When the Paceman debuts, it will likely be cross-shopped with the Range Rover Evoque. Unfortunately, I think the angular Evoque has this one beat in the looks department.
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2012 Paris Motor Show
We expect to get more details and photos when the Mini Cooper Paceman debuts at the 2012 Paris Motor Show in just a few weeks.