The official line is “strictly a Concept ja?”
The MINI Concept which has been well into study since late last year is being prepped as both a 3dr seen here and a 5dr using the “Club” door feature of the MINI Clubman both this time on each side of the car. This feature has been approved for production as it is necessary to make the car stand out between the 3dr.
But with extensive engineering work already gone into developing the rear hinged doors for the 5dr and the chassis engineers developing an advanced torque vectoring system in a similar vain to Dynamic Performance Control from the BMW X6 to be exclusive to the car. Once reaction has been taken into account expect this to be the next MINI production model. The car is especially low but without complete sacrifice of rear visibility.
Internally the aim of this car is to offer a concept which is sporty and trendsetting to the MINI brand in a similar way to the Range Rover Evoque. But at a price marker of something much less than the standard entry Range Rover Evoque but feature more individualism and unique features to the Countryman in a similar fashion to how the BMW X5 and X6 are positioned but for the city-compact segment.
Paceman (Possibly not the final name) and Countryman can co-exist in the same way as the BMW X5 and X6 exist. And with the X6 we have learned that further downwards that there is a market for a stylish concept in the Sport Activity Coupe.
The X6 itself has been a huge success for BMW. Initially in a two year period from launch BMW expected to sell around 40,000 units. But in fact sales doubled to twice the estimate at 80,000 units, BMW have now surpassed 120,000 units of the X6. No wonder then why the X4 is in development.
MINI is in a unique position because it is a segment that will show future growth but this growth will not sacrfice the key philosophies of the MINI Brand.
They wont grow longer than four metres and will not sacrifice it’s trademark driving credentials which still give the latest competitors a run for their money.
But MINI as a brand has to show more than conventional ideas. MINI is a brand that showcases innovation in it’s products. It is a synthesis of innovation and culture in it’s concepts it is no wonder why competitors are rusing to this segment.
Whilst MINI will stretch the brand to accomodate all markets within it’s segment starting with an entry level city model, through the classic MINI Concept into the newer innovative models such as Clubman , Countryman , Coupe , Roadster and Paceman.
By the time this car makes production it very may well carry a more individual facia to seperate it from the Countryman which is precisely the point of the Paceman. not only will the lower roofline , different front and rear and unique features make the car stand out.
But the inclusion of a MINI variant of BMW’s Dynamic Performance Control will help the MINI Paceman develop it’s own idenitity in handling and dynamics.
The next MINI Concept Car will be shown at Geneva in March 2011- It will show how the brand can expand but downsize.
Also upcoming soon is a new MINI Production model that will be announced soon before Geneva.