Tag Archive | "Paceman"

What’s In A Name? The John Cooper Works Mini

Recently Motor Blogger had the chance to drive a fine selection of motors and they all pretty much had one thing in common – quality. Sometimes though, a car will come along which sparks the inner boy. In this case it was the car in the picture – the Mini John Cooper Works Paceman.

As a fan of the Mini from way back my opinion may be rose-tinted,  but I enjoyed my jaunt in this car hugely, grinning like an automotive Cheshire cat. Yes, there are faster and cheaper cars in this sector and in the Mini JCW range but on this occasion we’ll just let the heart rule the head.

The JCW Paceman is a big three door four-seater. We can’t really describe it as being in the hot hatch department because it kind of transcends that common tag. It is absolutely loaded to the roof with standard kit including all the infotainment and safety gear you’d expect.

The version pictured has many choice options fitted as well, including some glorious 19” ‘Cross Spoke Crusher’ alloys but at an additional £1130 you may prefer the standard eighteen inch hoops. In fact, it’s the price that is the only issue for me. The standard JCW Paceman costs nearly £30k OTR. With the twenty-two options on the featured car the cost is an eye-watering £37,580 but that’s still only equivalent to an Evoque.

Power comes from a 215bhp 1.6-litre twin-scroll turbocharger petrol engine. It’s not slow. It can accelerate to 62mph in 6.9 seconds and has a top speed of 140mph. Ride height on this version is 10mm lower than the standard Paceman, making it more fun when negotiating the sort of roads upon which  the Mini excels. The conditions were damp yet we found that the JCW has huge levels of traction thanks to the standard ALL4 all-wheel-drive system. This works brilliantly well and grip was never an issue. ‘Corners on rails’ is how it is usually described.

Mini reckon that this motor will achieve 38.2mpg on the combined figure. Not sure about that but thirty plus should be on the cards though.  Emissions aren’t overly bad at 172g/km; in fact for a performance car I think they’ve done pretty well on this green issue.

Now look, inside every man is a boy burning with testosterone. So just try and stop your inner boy reaching for the sport button once it has been established that by flicking it the engine is tweaked for responsiveness and crucially the soundtrack burbles and crackles, especially on lifting off from the accelerator. The Cheshire Cat is back.

If you select the optional automatic gearbox and you press the magical Sport Button not only will you get the sublime noise but it also quickens up the shift times. The optional six-speed automatic gearbox comes with a Steptronic function and steering wheel shift paddles are available. Thanks to some quality insulation tyre and wind noises are well suppressed allowing the driver to savour the vocal engine. The ride is firm but the seats are comfortable and well bolstered.

Leaving aside the fun aspects of this car, it is also a practical choice. Three passengers can be accommodated although the rear accommodations are a bit tight for full-sized occupants – in which case the JCW Countryman may be the better alternative. The boot can handle 330 litres but with the seats folded this increases to a capacious 1080 litres.

You either like the Mini or you don’t. This Paceman is costly but it’s huge fun and you won’t see that many about. Pretty soon this model will be superseded by the forthcoming 2014 Mini but, if we’re honest, we can’t see how the existing JCW Paceman can be bettered.

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New Mini Paceman Has It All

We should all be used to Mini variants by now. The original Mini was customised by enthusiasts but with the current model there’s no need because, like a variety show, there is something for everyone. This is a good thing. Mini have clearly understood that motorists have taken the Mini to their hearts and all needs are being catered for.

Whatever reason you choose to buy a car – frugal, family sized, hardcore – the company have a version for you but still they keep on coming. This time it is the Paceman and it is a treat for the eyes.

It’s a strict four-seater based on the larger Countryman platform and is the seventh unique member of the family. Essentially it is a three door coupé version of the model on which it’s based. It has a new exterior with a sporty design and sits hunkered down on lowered suspension. There’ll be five versions including the always desirable Cooper S.

As you can see from the image the Paceman is extremely good looking. The design is modern and expressive without being OTT. We like very much the interior, especially the seats. At the front they look comfortable with good lateral support but the real innovation is in the back. There’s no concession to squeezing in an extra body; instead, two individual chairs provide a lounge-like environment, separated by the Mini Centre Rail storage system onto which several (expensive) options can be clipped.

You either like the Mini dashboard and centre consul or you don’t. If you do then this one is better than ever. If you don’t, well, you probably won’t be buying this car anyway. Although only a two (large) door, practicality hasn’t been sacrificed for the sake of form. The rear seats fold down to make the smallish boot capacity of 330 litres expand out to a cavernous 1080 litres. Access to this space is via the large and high-opening tailgate.

Some say that the handling of the big Mini has been compromised by the bulk. That’s not an unfair criticism because this Countryman version isn’t as agile on the road as the standard Mini; this won’t bother most buyers though – it’s still good. There’s an all-wheel-drive option which is fine for stability on snowy roads or grassy terrain but is a long way from being suitable for any mud-plugging. A useful safety feature though.

Power comes from a choice of two petrol and two diesel options linked to six-speed gearboxes. High milers will like the 2.0L diesel with over 60mpg but for the most part the choice of petrol engines and bhp (184 in the ‘S’) will be the motors of choice.

New car buyers are seeking bargains wherever they can but for some reason seem happy to pay the asking price for the Mini. Not the cheapest car on the market the Mini seems to transcend price and the same is sure to be true of the Paceman.

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