The new MINI Paceman: It’s one small step for (Country)man..

Forty-three years ago, American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon. As he put his first foot on the ground, he made the historic declaration, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.

I was reminded of this small piece of history, by the memorial service held to mark the passing of Armstrong in Washington DC, yesterday. But I was also prompted by MINI’s launch of its new Paceman.

Countryman Coupé joins the MINI family in 2013

Last year’s Paceman Concept, shown at the at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, was well received by the motoring press and public alike, so much so that BMW signed it off for a late-2012 production slot and deliveries in early 2013.

The one remaining question was , “what would it be called?”

MINI introduces the Soho Special Edition models

With MINI’s Countryman and new Coupe models gaining most of the attention in 2011, it’s clearly time to shine the special edition limelight on those old stagers in the range – the MINI Hatch and MINI Convertible.

MINI reveals the new Paceman Sports Activity Coupé

Just as we are beginning to come to terms with the un-mini-like 4-door MINI Countryman, along comes another new MINI to challenge our perceptions of the brand.

MINI describe the Paceman Concept as the first Sports Activity Coupé in the small premium segment and that it reinforces the MINI brand’s unconventional creativity.

PERSPECTIVE: It’s a Mini Crisis

I recently had the opportunity to poke around the new Mini Countryman and, my word, what a ridiculous car. For starters it’s a fat old hector, not just for a Mini, but for any quasi-4×4. And secondly, this particular example cost over £30,000 which will get you a nice 997 Carrera S with not many miles on the clock. I have to ask, who would buy one?