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Mike Stevens | Jul, 09 2012 | 0 Comments

The three-door version of MINI's high-riding Countryman looks set to wear the Paceman badge when it launches next year, according to whispers out of The US this week.

The reports could mark an about-face for the brand, with the concept earlier expected to expected to merely tack 'Coupe' onto the end of the Countryman name when it hits showrooms.

Revealed as the Paceman concept in late 2010, the new three-door compact SUV is virtually identical to the Countryman at the front-end, but gains a new rising belt-line, fattened haunches and a tail-light treatment.

How many of these features will carry over to the production model - and other MINI models - remains to be seen, although spy photos of the Paceman/Countryman Coupe suggest the concept will remain largely unchanged.

Despite the absence of its rear doors, the Paceman is no smaller than its Countryman donor car, measuring the same 4110mm in length and 1789mm width.

Thanks to the chopped roofline however, the Paceman's height is shorter, measuring just 1541mm tall to the Countryman's 1561mm.

In concept form, power is provided by the same 1.6 litre twin-scroll turbocharged engine found in the brand's John Cooper Works models, developing 155kW and 260Nm of torque.

As with the Countryman, the Paceman also features MINI's All4 permanent all-wheel-drive system, sending as much as 100 percent of power to the rear axle if the front wheels completely lose traction. The front axle also features an electronic pseudo-LSD to help improve grip.

 
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