The Mini Paceman, a coupe based on the same architecture as the four-door Mini Countryman, landed in the U.S. for the first time at November's Los Angeles Auto Show. Yet, here it is again, albeit with an engine that helps pick up the Mini Paceman's, well, pace.
John Cooper Works has become the top-end designation for Mini's go-fast cars. The 2013 Mini Paceman JCW enters production with a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine it shares with the Mini Paceman S. The difference is that it's been boosted to 208 horsepower in the JCW version, and given paint and suspension tweaks to keep it looking as mean as a little kitschy crossover from the U.K. can.
Who It's For
Compact crossovers are often for city-dwellers who need the space and utility of a hatch and the all-road versatility provided by all-wheel drive. They also deliver better fuel economy than their heavier, truck-based contemporaries. The 2013 Mini Paceman JCW reaps the benefits of its design--a 0 to 60 time of 6.5 seconds and up to 31 mpg highway with the standard six-speed manual transmission--without too many of the compromises. Well, there's one: The fact that it now has two fewer doors.
You can't win all of them. The Mini Paceman JCW does look better than its more upright Countryman counterpart, though.
Besides the added power, the Mini Paceman JCW comes with standard all-wheel drive and other bespoke features like:
- A new, aggressive body kit and standard 18-inch wheels, with 19-inchers optional.
- A lowered sport suspension and stronger anti-roll bars.
- An available Chili Red and black contrasting color scheme, exclusive to the JCW vehicle line.
What We Think
Mini has a proud history in World Rally Championship racing, currently campaigning the Mini Countryman. Sporty usually means two doors though, so in that context the Mini Paceman JCW makes plenty of sense for the brand. With a manual or automatic transmission, this quick little crossover will have a decent-sized pool of shoppers who will be able to drive one when it goes on sale in March. The question is whether they're interested in paying in the mid-30s for such a small vehicle...or even whether they may bypass the Mini Paceman for the more practical Countryman.
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