Update: ‘New MINI Paceman electric concept’ sub-section of the ‘Design & Interior’ section updated.
The MINI Paceman unveiled in 2012 found the going difficult in the market due to the decline of three-door models. Sales of the Paceman never really picked up, and so it was discontinued in 2017.
Fans of the MINI Sports Activity Coupe would be thrilled to hear that the nameplate is coming back to the market, this time with proper doors and a pure electric powertrain. According to a report from CAR magazine, the launch of the MINI Paceman Electric will take place in 2024.
The British publication claims that BMW Group will use a steel monocoque chassis instead of a skateboard. It’s possible that the company is planning to launch an ICE new-generation MINI Paceman to give options to all customers. The variant line-up could include single-motor FWD and dual-motor AWD configurations. A 60 kWh battery pack could feed the motor(s) of the MINI Paceman Electric and deliver a range of 250 miles on the WLTP cycle, as per the report. However, these numbers are just estimates, not official targets.
German sources have also confirmed that this MINI electric SUV will use a new generation of battery cells that have new-age cathode chemistry and don’t use Cobalt. One can expect a cost-effective and environment-friendly battery pack in the first MINI Paceman Electric.
Design & Interior
Although the Paceman Electric will have regular doors instead of the old double doors, it should still look just as sporty as the first-gen Paceman. Expect a similar coupe-style profile with a greenhouse tapered towards the rear and a steeply raked back glass.
Future MINI electric cars would have improvements in efficiency, design as well as sustainability. The word from the UK is that MINI is bidding adieu to leather. Future MINI models will see the usage of sustainable alternatives to leather. A report from Autocar in February 2021 cited MINI design chief Oliver Heilmer saying the company doesn’t need leather anymore because it’s unsustainable, in its opinion. “We’re totally convinced that we will have modern and high-value products without leather,” Heilmer said. The new materials would be recycled yet luxurious and “inventive in terms of function.”
New MINI Paceman electric concept
The MINI Paceman electric or the MINI Paceman successor is a while away from its launch. However, MINI will give us a taste of things to come with an early-stage design concept.
On June 14, 2022, MINI released the first teaser of this concept model, saying it’s a pure electric “crossover model for the small-car segment.” This model will debut a new design language called Charismatic Simplicity. MINI says its future models will combine a modern and purist exterior and a minimalist interior design, one that focuses on the essentials.
The teaser shows the MINI electric crossover concept featuring sharp lines, a low but flattish hood, prominent wheel arches, slim rectangular door mirrors, and an adventure accessory that could be a surfboard mounted on the roof. The new crossover concept will break cover at the end of July 2022.
The MINI Paceman Electric could be the closest indirect successor to the BMW i3 hatch, which retires in summer 2022. Manufacturing of the Paceman electric SUV will take place at a new joint BMW Group-GWM venture plant located in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu Province in China. This factory will have an annual production capacity of 160,000 units, and production will begin by the end of 2022, starting with the hatch.
As the next-gen 2023 MINI Countryman is climbing up a segment, it leaves enough space for MINI to launch a small crossover without the fear of cannibalization. The reborn Paceman could be the perfect car for customers of the Cooper SE who want a raised seating position and added ground clearance. It would challenge premium entry-level electric crossovers like the Mercedes EQA and the Smart #1.
MINI announces all-electric future
In 2021, MINI said that it will become an all-electric brand as early as the early 2030s. In October 2020, the brand had announced that its future core portfolio of all-electric vehicles will include the three-door Hatch, a new crossover model in the small car segment (possibly the next-gen Paceman and/or Paceman EV) and the MINI Countryman electric variant. The next-gen MINI Convertible would also be an electric model. MINI said the hatch and the two compact crossover models will have combustion engine options.
The BMW Group company has hinted that its future electric crossovers, unmistakably MINI, would each address a different segment with varying space and versatility. All products in its future lineup would, however, “continue to be a typical MINI” with the highest interior space, exciting drive, and individuality within the smallest footprint among competitors.
Featured Image Source: BMW Group