Remember the AMC Eagle SX/4? We’re sorry to remind you of it, but when trying to decide what the heck the new 2014 Mini Paceman is, that hoary old Eagle springs easily to mind.
You see, the 2014 Paceman, which is strutting its stuff at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, is a small 3-door hatchback offered with an ALL4 all-wheel-drive system, and it resembles the Mini Countryman crossover from the front doors forward. The entire back half of the car is unique to the Paceman, including a sloping roofline that gives us one more reason to remember the ancient AMC.
Mini does give the Paceman a lower ride height than the Countryman upon which it is based, and employs horizontally oriented taillights, an enormous Mini emblem, and broad “PACEMAN” letting across the rear of the car to help reduce its visual height. Still, the Mini Paceman isn’t much smaller than a Countryman, so for a Mini, it’s Maxi.
The Paceman is offered in underpowered Cooper and satisfying Cooper S trim levels, the former equipped with a fairly gutless 121-horsepower, 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine and the latter powered by a turbocharged version of that motor making 181 horsepower and a bunch more torque. Mini’s ALL4 all-wheel-drive system is available only on the Cooper S model.
A Paceman John Cooper Works version is in the, umm, works, adding horsepower, torque, and other go-fast, have-fun goodies that ought to help it get to 60 mph in under seven seconds and to round corners with vigor.
The 2014 Mini Paceman goes on sale in Europe in March of 2013, with U.S. sales to follow. Pricing is not set, but shan’t fall far from the Countryman from whence it springs.