As we’ve already explained, the 2013 Mini Paceman Cooper S makes no sense until you drive it. The idea of a two-door crossover makes as much sense as eating mayonnaise straight from the jar. And yet, when you get behind the wheel, you find it to be a thoroughly satisfying vehicle to drive.
So what happens when you bump up the horsepower count by 27? The Mini Paceman John Cooper Works. That’s what.
While we’ve known about a JCW version of the Paceman for some time, having first seen it at January’s Detroit Auto Snow, and now details have finally emerged before next week’s Geneva Motor Show for the world market. Power will come from Mini’s ubiquitous 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, putting down 218 horsepower to all four wheels–10 more horsepower than what we’ll see in the U.S. version. While a six-speed manual transmission will come standard, Mini also plans to offer the Paceman JCW with a six-speed automatic.
Besides the paint, which some may find a little garish, Mini has upfitted the Paceman JCW with a stiffer suspension, thicker anti-rollbars, an aerodymanic body kit, and exclusive 18-inch lightweight alloy wheels. Like other Paceman models, the JCW will also have a standard sport button that sharpens throttle response, firms up steering feel, and opens up the exhaust to allow for a little more auditory excitement in aggressive driving.
Mini says the Paceman JCW will hit 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, which strikes us as a little slow for as much power as it’s packing. Or Mini is just being a bit conservative. The Mini Paceman JCW will start at $36,200, including $700 for destination and handling, when it hits showrooms during the first half of the year.