At the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, Mini pulled the wraps off the high-performance John Cooper Works-branded version of its recently debuted Paceman crossover vehicle.
The Paceman is, essentially, a 2-door version of the company’s Countryman 4-door crossover. Compared with the rest of the Mini product line, the Paceman has a raised suspension, all-wheel drive, and a larger interior. The JCW treatment adds more power, a sport suspension, sport exhaust, aerodynamic body addenda, and 18-inch wheels (19s are optional). Inside, modifications and substitutions include a sport-inspired steering wheel, dark-colored instruments, JCW door-sill plates, piano-black strips on the dashboard, and red stitching on the seats, shifter, and steering wheel. The standard Paceman’s seats have been replaced with four individual sport seats. Also included is a Sport button that changes engine performance and sound and reduces the amount of steering power assist for a more direct steering feel. It also quickens the automatic transmission’s shifts.
This hopped-up version is powered by a 208-horsepower turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard, and an automatic with manual-shift capability via the floor shifter or steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters is optional. With either transmission, Mini says the JCW Paceman will do the 0-60 mph dash in 6.5 seconds on its way to a top speed of 127 mph. The Paceman also employs electric power steering.
Thanks to driveline tweaks, including BMW Group’s VALVETRONIC technology, the JCW Paceman is reported to yield 25 mpg city/31 mpg highway with the manual transmission, and 23 mpg city/30 mpg highway in automatic-transmission guise. All JCW Pacemans are all-wheel drive. The system defaults to front-wheel drive, and sends power to the rear wheels when needed.
Mini announced that the JCW Paceman will go on sale in March 2013, and pricing was quoted at $36,200, including destination.
CG Says: This is the final vehicle in the Mini lineup to get the JCW treatment. Just like the Mini Cooper Hardtop with JCW goodies, the JCW Paceman follows the hot-hatch formula: potent, high-power engine in a somewhat unassuming body. Though its tall body doesn’t exactly say “hot hatch” to most enthusiasts, the Paceman’s all-wheel-drive system may prove to be an asset, especially if it makes the most of that screaming 4-cylinder engine. Please check back for our full road test of the Mini JCW Paceman.