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.

The brand’s most powerful engine, a 1.6-liter turbocharged unit with 211 horsepower, is borrowed from Mini’s John Cooper Works high-performance package and features an overboost function that delivers a modest torque increase, from 192 pound-feet to 207.

Its suspension setup features MacPherson spring struts up front, with low track control arms. To emphasize ride quality and handling, the concept employs a multilink rear axle developed initially for Mini’s parent company, BMW, which would appear on both the front-wheel-drive and the All4 all-wheel-drive versions of the car, according to Mini.

Along with the Paceman’s unveiling in Detroit, January also is the 10th anniversary of the Mini brand reintroduction, as well as the debut of Anders Warming as the brand’s new design chief.