Friday, February 1, 2013
In the flesh: 2013 MINI Paceman Cooper S ALL4
MINI displayed its all-new Paceman model at the 2013 Portland International Auto Show last week. The Paceman rides on the MINI Countryman platform and is available in either front- or all-wheel drive. This model, the Paceman Cooper S ALL4, feature AWD and was powered by the 181 horsepower turbocharged mill and equipped with a manual transmission. The price was in the low $30,000 range. The Paceman is also available with the standard 1.6-liter non-turbo engine.
There's no doubting this is once unique little rig. It's larger and chunkier than the picture suggests. Its interior is modeled after an airplane, complete with an emergency brake that looks like a throttle out of a jet. It's got four bucket seats. It's very different. It's also an amalgam of vehicular styles. It's like a miniature crossover ; maybe an answer to a question that doesn't exist. And how many variations on the MINI body are we going to see?
At first glance, it wasn't my cup of tea. But I haven't driven one, and would like to. Frankly, I think this two-door is a very suitable competitor to the Nissan Juke ... if it had two doors as well. But none the less, both the Juke and the Paceman are slightly wacky, turbocharged, AWD compacts with lots of personalty.