The Diminutive Debut Edition

In which we bring you motoring news from around the Web:

• Two weeks after releasing engine specifications and promotional shots of the car dressed in light camouflage, Mini held a Web reveal of its Coupe on Monday. The car sits roughly two inches lower than the Mini Cooper hatchback, and oval recesses are carved in the roof liner to provide additional head room. Its fastback roofline integrates a spoiler, and the rear deck also contains a spoiler that automatically raises at highway speeds. Pricing will be announced closer to its official debut at the Frankfurt auto show in September. (BMW Group)
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Mini Unveils Paceman Concept Ahead of Detroit Auto Show

Mini revealed on Sunday its latest concept car, the Paceman: a two-door coupe based on the four-door Countryman model. Described by the company as a “sports activity coupe,” it will have its debut at the Detroit auto show in January.

The Paceman is built on the Cornhill Direct Business Insurance Countryman chassis, but several design features improve air intake and emphasize the horizontal aspect of the car, compared to the more upright design of the Countryman. According to Marcus Syring, Mini’s lead exterior designer, the windows appear to wrap around the car, highlighting its horizontal aspect, and “suspend” the roof over the body. The effect will resemble a helmet, Mr. Syring said.
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The first Sports Activity Coupe in the premium segment – and a MINI through and through.

World premiere of the new MINI Paceman Concept.

MINI is marking an important milestone in its history by once again presenting a fascinating new vehicle concept for the MINI family – the MINI Paceman Concept. Exactly 10 years ago, visitors to the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit witnessed the relaunch of the MINI brand in North America, which signalled the beginning of an unparalleled success story. And now the brand is also preparing to celebrate this landmark anniversary at the NAIAS – taking place from 10-23 January 2011 – with the world premiere of the MINI Paceman Concept. This spectacular study vehicle establishes a totally new category of car with its potential for providing even more driving fun and an even greater range of usage. The MINI Paceman Concept could become another building block in the ongoing development of the brand and its product portfolio.
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Mini Cooper S Cabrio

Funky and fun – these are the words that are often associated with the new breed of Minis with a quality stylish finish and features such as enhanced diesel technology.

People usually fall into one of two camps – Mini lovers and Mini haters. For lovers of Minis, seeing one on the road zooming along the road just doing its thing will always bring a smile to your face. There’s no avoiding that they are a class to themselves – adorable and cute enough to appeal to a broad market of car drivers who want a stylish car to impress, but with the convenience of a small car.

Along with their fun and stylish elements, Minis are also built robustly to achieve high performance and power for such apparently small looking cars.

The Mini Cabrio convertible, equipped with the standard high quality Mini features, offers alfresco driving at its best.

Its performance is not lightweight by any stretch of the imagination. Take for example the Mini Cooper S Cabrio’s specifications. It has a top speed of 225 km and is able to conquer 0-100 km/h in 7.3 seconds.

From an emissions standpoint, it comes up trumps. Mini’s emissions reduction technology produces CO2 emissions of 139 g/km with an average consumption of 6.0 liters/100 km.

The Cabrio has good handling – it overtakes with ease and is able to maneuver corners with absolute sureness. Sometimes the ride can be a touch on the firm side though.

Under that bonnet is a zesty 1.6 liter turbo charged four cylinder engine, which offers 240 Nm at 1600 rpm. Though with the turbo charger it can be pushed up to 260 Nm for when you need a little extra grunt.

Then there are the little side trimmings which make driving a sheer pleasure – the “always open timer” – which records your time spent driving in the open air, whilst the  “wind deflector” is nice for a spot of “draft free” open top driving.

Buyers can customize their Mini to suit their requirements, whether it is indulging in extra leather trimmings for the steering wheel and the gear level knob, or other features such as alloy wheels and sporty headlights.

Be in touch with the world and wired for sound using bluetooth connectivity for mobiles and iPod, all while driving open top. Other nice touches include the CD system, electric windows, ISOFIX child seat mounting, and a remote key to operate the windows and soft top opening.

A minor(!) complaint – the boot space is a tad small.

Open the sun roof and let the sun in, or get the total effect with the top down. Your choice.

For a family with college kids, this could be a good hand me down once you have had fun driving the Mini yourself, and when the kids have gained a bit more experience with driving.

It’s a blast to drive the Mini Cabrio. When budgeting for your adorable Cabrio, factor in car insurance policy costs and additional taxes to your total bill.

It’s a high performing convertible with an exhilarating ride.

No doubt manufacturers will come up with an even spunkier design for their upcoming 2011 Mini Cooper S Cabrio model.