MINI’s chop-top Paceman Concept took its bows at last year’s Detroit motor show, and test mules of the production version – likely to be dubbed the Countryman Coupe – have now been captured wearing psychedelic camouflage by the folks at Carparazzi.
Based on much of the same hardware as the existing Countryman, the Coupe is expected to debut at the Paris motor show in September/October, before going on sale internationally in 2013.
From what we can make out from the accompanying images, the Countryman Coupe retains much of the styling elements of the Paceman Concept, with its heavily tapered roofline culminating in a bulbous rump.
The chop-top roof is complemented by a wide track that pushes the rear wheels outboard of the side windows, helping give the car a brawny, purposeful stance. Another novelty is the horizontal taillights that extend into the bootlid (in contrast to the vertical taillights that have featured on all Minis to date).
Measuring 4110mm long, 1789mm wide and 1541mm high, last year’s Paceman Concept sat 20mm lower than the Countryman from which it was derived, although it stretched an additional 13mm from bumper to bumper.
Despite its rakish profile, it’s rumoured the Countryman Coupe will offer more leg-, shoulder- and headroom than most coupes, although the relatively small glasshouse at the rear could contribute to a slight feeling of claustrophobia in the back. However, this is just speculation at this stage.
It’s believed Countryman Coupe will be offered solely with performance-oriented engines, in keeping with its positioning as the flagship of the range.
Therefore, it was hardly surprising the Paceman Concept was equipped with a John Cooper Works-spec 1.6-litre turbo unit with 155kW and 260Nm, with an overboost function bumping torque up to 280Nm.
The Paceman Concept also sported a permanent all-wheel-drive system, with an electromagnetic centre differential sending 100 per cent of drive to the rear wheels in extreme circumstances.
The concept retained the existing Countryman’s interior layout, although fitted out with redesigned seats in quilt-stitch tan leather. The rear seats, although individually shaped, will be manufactured in one piece.