Seen here wearing only a small patch of camouflage over its rear quarters, tail-lights and tailgate, the production model will look almost identical to the Paceman concept that debuted at the Detroit motor show in January 2011 when it enters production alongside the Countryman in Austria later this year.
Mini Australia’s Piers Scott confirmed the Mini Paceman would become the local brand’s seventh variant when it arrives in showrooms around March 2013, joining the Cooper hatch, Cabrio, Clubman, Countryman, Coupe and Roadster in the expanding line-up.
Like the Countryman, the Paceman is set to feature the BMW-owned brand’s proven powertrains, including the 90kW/160Nm naturally aspirated 1.6-litre petrol, the 82kW/270Nm 1.6-litre diesel, and the 135kW/240Nm 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol for the Cooper S Paceman variants.
It is also expected to adopt the 105kW/305Nm 2.0-litre diesel engine from the Cooper SD Countryman, as well as the 160kW/280Nm 1.6-litre turbo petrol for the Paceman JCW.
The Paceman will be available as standard in front-wheel drive while the brand's 'ALL4' all-wheel-drive system will be available optionally to give the jacked-up coupe some degree of off-road credibility.
The Mini Paceman is expected to be positioned close to the Countryman when it launches in Australia, with an anticipated starting pricing below $35,000.