MINI released this little concept this week: The MINI Paceman Adventure. It basically takes the two-door Paceman All4, removes the back half, and makes it into a pickup. There's all-terrain tires, a roof-rack, and even an intake snorkel for, according to MINI, a "challenging river crossing." In addition, there's a modified suspension to help soak up the extra bumps off the highway, more ground clearance, auxiliary lighting, and the spare tire up on the roof.
At first, I thought this was pretty cool. I'm a big fan of adventure vehicles—cars and trucks that let you "get out" a bit farther than most people. I like the color and the wheel/tire combo. But then I got to thinking about it.
The idea of the Paceman Adventure is great: A
I am a fan of giving cars the "rough-road" treatment, a term I first heard on Expedition Portal. (Think Subaru XV Crosstrek. Think Jeep Renegade.) Think regular vehicle with more ground clearance and a bit more capability. I think MINI could've made a legitimate case with the Paceman Adventure if they had just kept it as a mini SUV-like vehicle instead of a pickup configuration.
While I do have to give MINI credit for stepping outside of its smallish box, I think that the MINI Paceman Adventure is more of a pretender than a contender. It's a bunch of bolt-ons, a useless bed, and a few visual differences that try to make this MINI look like a mountain man, when in reality it ends up looking more like a poser that's just left REI.