2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4

Vital Stats

Engine:
1.6L Turbo I4
Power:
215 HP / 207 LB-FT
Transmission:
6-Speed Manual
0-60 Time:
6.7 Seconds (est.)
Top Speed:
127 MPH
Drivetrain:
All-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
3,252 LBS
Seating:
2+2
MPG:
25 City / 31 HWY
Base Price:
$36,200 (est.)
The One Mini Should Have Taken Rallying



It needs to be said: Mini using the Countryman as their World Rally Championship racer's bodystyle of choice has done them no favors on the marketing front. And that's what it's all about in motorsports these days: marketing and image. We have just driven the 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 through Frankfurt's surrounding rural areas, and even in thick snow where few souls dared to tread, it has singularly rekindled some faith in the John Cooper Works sub-brand – a glorious name whose credibility has been threatened by portly and somewhat pointless products like the JCW Countryman.

The JCW Paceman is a little quicker than its Countryman relative, a little lighter, hunkered down lower, and better looking. We can't say we're crazy anymore about the stock Chili Red details and black exterior they keep showing us at these launches, but that's just paint. Then there's that projected pricing of $36k-plus that puts us on the verge of yelling "¡No mas!" But the All4 system on our 215-horsepower Paceman worked extremely well when paired with a set of exceptional Pirelli Sottozero Winter 210 Serie II tires (sized 205/55 R17 91H all around). The combination of all-wheel drive and good rubber encouraged us to gradually up the average speed and enthusiasm the further we drove along.

And the JCW hunkers four-tenths of an inch lower on its standard sport-tuned dampers and springs. This is just the start of why the hip point and yaw point – and all those other points – render the Paceman JCW's driving so satisfying. Whereas the electro-assisted steering on some of the lower-slung Minis has suffered slightly since the very first incarnations of those models, the Paceman seems to work with it. We were forcing oversteer coming into several of the day's curves, and the steering and sheer physics of the chassis readily obliged. Just get your inner ear in sync with the 3,252-pounder's lateral momentum and you're golden. The odd center handbrake is calibrated not to really snap the car around at will, but we learned to muscle it and deal with the onboard chorus of chimes warning us that we were using the handbrake as a handbrake.
2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4  side view2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4  front view2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4  rear view

Mini has utterly nailed the JCW Paceman's sport exhaust.

We didn't miss the optional Aisin six-speed automatic – in our book, it utterly defeats the purpose of JCW models – instead revelling in the heightened driving engagement and enjoyment of the manual. On our German jaunt, the six-speed Getrag stick proved to be a terrific tool for negotiating great slippery curves with heel-and-toe grace.

Then there's the sort of sporty Sport button. In this case, steering effort thickens, the exhaust crackles and pops when you lift off the gas, and the throttle itself tightens its sinews a bit. All of which is fine by us; toying with the suspension any more would hurt the car's balance. So, it's essentially an emotion button, and in that sense it does as much as the company ever promises it'll do. Mini has utterly nailed the JCW Paceman's sport exhaust – it adds just the right rally-highlight-film atmosphere.

2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 interior2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 front seats2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 rear seats2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 rear cargo area

The sport suspension is the only way to go, so thank heavens that JCW Minis cannot opt for the comfort chassis.

A caveat: The regular Paceman comes standard everywhere outside North America with the lower and more rigid sport suspension, while ours is the only continent that goes against the grain and selects the comfort setup. Given our journalistic desire for all Minis to be dynamics powerhouses, the sport suspension is the only way to go, so thank heavens that JCW Minis cannot opt for the comfort chassis.

As on the JCW Countryman, this Paceman gets the uprated 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 215 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of popping torque. Tapping into the overboost mode that provides 221 lb-ft between 2,100 and 4,500 rpm almost happens too readily when one's foot is on the floor. In fact, we did it often, if only to be bathed in the exhaust's crackling backdraft upon lifting said foot from said floor. Like the Sport button, the overboost is one more "fun" function that at least has the practical application of easing the overtaking of white-knuckled Swabians on snow days.

2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 engine

This Paceman is one of the better JCW treatments.

Inside, Mini has taken to oversaturating its opulent sea of plastics with chili red detailing and more oodles of sporty cuteness. Yes, all is functional, and we are very happy with the window switches now being located on the doors, but the factory-installed pimping kitsch has got to reach a limit at some point, no? We want a stripper JCW, and we don't mean a GP edition, which has its own particular strain of kitsch going on.

We will go out on a limb and say that dynamically this Paceman is one of the better JCW treatments, judging from our vigorous test drive in Germany's deserted winter hinterlands. Yet the monster trucklette arrives this month just in time for winter to melt away. Sort of a pity, that.

2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 rear 3/4 view2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 front detail2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 front fascia2014 Mini John Cooper Works Paceman All4 exhaust tip

Thankfully, our few stints on the no-snow-drift Autobahn showed us that the hottest Paceman acquits itself nicely under everyday interstate-style cruising. Of course, we liberally explored the 127-mph top speed on the no-limit portions, but the versatile 1.6-liter turbocharged engine can average around 85 mph over long distances and feel right at home, too. Being on the 17-inch wintry Pirellis instead of the 18-inch standard run-flats proved to be a major bonus. That their more pliable sidewalls and compound would help curb impact noise and harshness was to be expected, but what we didn't foresee was their better directional stability.

After a hard day of driving, we came away authentically surprised at how much we enjoyed this hot edition of the seventh Mini. Now, if Oxford and Munich had only used this Paceman bodywork for their WRC effort instead of the Countryman tubster, perhaps they wouldn't have exited rally racing after only one year.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 54 Comments
      tiguan2.0
      • 1 Year Ago
      I thought this was expensive and pointless...UNTIL I just read the article above on the Buick Encore above. All of a sudden, the Paceman is a screaming bargain.
      karriston
      • 1 Year Ago
      This car is great, small 2-door hatch, fun to drive, manual 6-speed, AWD. I just have two gripes, the first being price and the second being the interior. A bare bones Paceman All4 starts at over $29k. If they just dropped the price by about $5k I think it would sell really well (this goes for Mini's whole current line up). The interior isn't horrible, it's just that we have seen the same interior for years with hardly any changes. It would just be nice to see some evolution.
      Joey Franklin
      • 1 Year Ago
      I like the look of the Paceman and you can get a FWD, Manual S model for under 30k if you are careful on the option sheet which should help performance a little with the decreased weight. I plan to test drive one along with the new A3 probably summer 2014 when i start looking for another vehicle.
      Jmaister
      • 1 Year Ago
      is the paceman smaller in person or those 17in tires looks more low profile than it is? I don\'t think 55 looks like that..unless there\'s trickery to the wheel?
      MacProMan
      • 1 Year Ago
      nice to drive for sure, drove the JCW Countryman and it could use more power if you want the fastest car off the line (it\'s still quick but I admit I wouldn\'t mind the N20 motor from BMW in it, hope that happens) and I totally get how people want them to be cheaper to buy
      CarCrazy24
      • 1 Year Ago
      The look of it has grown on me, looks very slick. However, why only black with red trim? Give some color options for the inside and outside and then it's just about the perfect Paceman.
      MrMonkaroo
      • 1 Year Ago
      I use to have a Mini Cooper S turbo and loved it. If this Paceman was about 5-6 grand cheaper it would be more attractive. Strangely it seems all the JCW editions in the Mini line up are all priced about the same even though some are larger or smaller than the other. I am sure the profit margins on the Mini are huge given most base cars start in the low 20s.
      Africord
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hot hatches are cool. But doesn't this look a lot like an early 90's Honda Civic?
      Rotation
      • 1 Year Ago
      I can't believe you wrote an entire article about this $36K bloated MINI without pointing out how inherently stupid it is. Sure, if you don't have to pay for it, it's fun. If you don't have to live with it, it seems okay. But meanwhile the vehicle is bloated (for the interior space), expensive and rather low on utility considering what it's aimed at. Get a grip.
        Matthew Davis
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rotation
        No such thing anymore as a car that is "stupid" for all. Sorry. This car will sell to those who want it and a surprising number of those people are not stupid. Shocking revelation.
          Matthew Davis
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Matthew Davis
          Every single car company on Earth would literally kill to have a Mini lineup in their product catalogue. Minis sell well and always have, make huge money, retain much of their value better than nearly any other brand's products....jeez, what's not to envy?
          carnut0913
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Matthew Davis
          okay, the people may not be stupid- but that does not prevent them from making stupid decisions, or to be kind, irrational decisions. Can you state what this car excels at better than any other car, other than waste money? Where is this not an also ran?
        A P
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rotation
        They are not allowed to point out anything like that....the German ad dollars would dry up quick!
        drew
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rotation
        If everyone bought cars based on rationality we'd all be driving Camrys.
      jtav2002
      • 1 Year Ago
      $36k? No thanks.
        Dayv
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jtav2002
        It's the JCW model, they're always expensive. You can have nearly as much fun in an S version, which is maybe 10% down on power and a little softer in the corners.
          dr61
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dayv
          You can get the identical sport suspension option on any Countryman S or Paceman S.
      Chris
      • 1 Year Ago
      Said it before, say it again...Mini has lost the scent.
        untitledfolder
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Chris
        People said the same crap about the Cayenne and Porsche when it's their money maker financing better 911's...
      Steve
      • 1 Year Ago
      Original Mini weighed about 1,300 lb. This pig weighs more than a Corvette!
        futuramautoblog
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Steve
        Sure. But if you crash that 1,300lb MINI at some speed, I will be surprised if I find your body intact. This 'pig'? I will walk away scratch free!!
          johnbravo6
          • 1 Year Ago
          @futuramautoblog
          Congratulations. But that's a big if and those of us not living in constant fear would like the option. Could you and your ilk back the **** off and let us buy our own cars, please?
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