MINI is not afraid to launch small volume special editions and the new MINI Paceman John Cooper Works and MINI Clubman Bond Street both make perfect sense for the fans of the brand. In Detroit, MINI introduced the world to the Paceman JCW, a model with the look of a full factory track preparation on one of MINI’s larger offerings. The Clubman Bond Street is a posh, polished, dapper example of the full four seat stretched MINI chassis. Both of these examples of larger than mini MINIs point to the company’s decision to move up and past the micro car chassis and onward towards more conventionally sized vehicles. Customers seem happy with that progression.
Generally, any MINI that bears the John Cooper Works (JCW) badge is a street machine created with a lot of the go-fast bits that make themselves very useful on the track, or somewhat useful on quasi-legal back road romps. The Paceman JCW is sort of that. Fans of the brand know who John Cooper was and why his name adorns the quickest most darty of the MINI models. Applying that moniker to the Paceman, which is a two-door, chopped roof variant of the MINI Countryman, is somewhat of a sticky wicket for MINI. You see, why would it make sense to take the highest riding, largest chassis, then cut the roof off, and apply plastic body panels all over the vehicle to imply it has some additional go-fast ability? Listen, readers, if you are looking for logic in the brand that moved the speedometer two feet to the right of where it belongs and sells all-wheel drive cars with no spare you are barking up the wrong tree.
What the MINI Paceman is, is cool. Making it a pretend JCW variant is cool too. It does have the extra punch, 208 horsepower engine. It will need it. This MINI is the plus-size model and it isn’t really tossable like the true MINI models. Any added pull will be welcome. It is a 2-door coupe, and it does have a cool roofline. Now that it can come in the JCW colors of black and red, and has an aerodynamics body package it is all the more interesting. The Paceman is the world’s only compact, sports activity coupe. The JCW is the world’s only compact, sports activity coupe with an aerodynamics package. Like all Pacemen, this one can be equipped with all-wheel drive and MINI makes claims of taking it off the beaten path. Just don’t follow the path out of cell phone range because if you do and you pull a run-flat off the rim it is going to be a long walk back.
In contrast to the all-road rally-car look that the Paceman JCW offers, the new MINI Clubman Bond Street is Dapper Dan in wing tips. Named after the London Street where folks buy bespoke suits, this MINI is all about the look. Starting with the “stretched” by 9 inches MINI chassis, this MINI offers four passenger seating and the way too cool for school little rear doors. It also has the tailgate doors that open French door style. Each little back window has its own little wiper. That is cute until you need to buy the baby wiper blades for those. Forget we said that, this MINI isn’t about value or practicality it is about looking great and uniquely great. The Midnight Black paint contrasts nicely with the Champagne paint of the roof and mirrors and the Champagne spills down its backside a bit. Like all great suits the shoes are the real key here and they are unique called Twin Spoke Black by MINI. The rim's trim ring is also Champagne and highlight's the car’s look like a proper stick-pin. Like a proper suit requires that you open the jacket to see the designer’s name, the MINI Bond Street wears its name on the inside door sills. Inside the black and Champagne theme is continued by the interior trim.
The MINI Bond Street will be first unveiled at the Geneva Auto show in March and should be available for order shortly thereafter.