Here it is in the flesh – the new MINI Paceman. It is MINI’s 7th iteration to join in the long diversified family. Dubbed as the Sports Activity Coupé, the Paceman is the first SAC of the many stylings offered in the MINI family, which at first glance, resembles its bigger brother, the Countryman.

Yes – this is because the Paceman shares the same platform as the Countryman. At the same time, it also shares the same engine and drivetrain as its bigger brother too. But that is where the similarities end.

The Paceman is designed to offer the everyday practicality that the Countryman offers, without the expense of MINI’s iconic driving experience which the coupé and hatchback offers. According to BMW, the Paceman possesses the trademark go-kart driving dynamics. As with the R56, the ‘Sport’ button helps to change the characteristics of  the car, tweaking the engine and steering response.

In Malaysia, the Paceman is only sold as the Cooper S – which is powered by a 1.6-litre twin-scroll turbocharged engine, with a peak performance of 184horsepower and 240nm of torque. The Paceman Cooper S is capable of running from zerotohundred in 7.8 seconds and a top speed of 212km/h. Although the Paceman is also offered as an ‘All-4’ model like the Countryman, that variant is not yet announced in Malaysia.

In the Paceman, they have introduced an updated version of the MINI Connected – which is loaded with around 1,800 pre-recorded messages, to inform the driver of the status of the car; for example – if the engine has been warmed up or the range of the fuel tank. In the past, the function of MINI Connected is only limited to offer permanent access to social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter – but now with the updated functions, it is set to take their technological offering a step further, to render excitement to the driver.

The Paceman will be available in 5 exterior shades of colour – including two new variants which is offered specially for the Paceman; Brilliant Copper and Starlight Blue. Customers will be given the choice of painting the roof and mirrors in either black or white, a signature to modern MINIs, giving a contrasty retro styling. Retailed at RM288,888 (on the road without insurance), the only optional extra available is the Glass Roof Package which will set you back RM7,888.

We have yet to find out what it will be like to drive, but we are absolutely looking forward to driving it.