While it might seem like a contradiction in terms, the MINI Paceman Adventure packs the power and versatility of a utility vehicle into the characteristically compact frame that MINI are known for. Before you get yourselves into a state of frantic anticipation, MINI fans, we’re sorry to have to tell you that Project Colorado (the codename for bringing the MINI ute to life) only had the aim of producing a concept car. According to MINI spokespersons, there are currently no plans to advance the project towards a production stage. Currently all we can do is gaze longingly at the small, tough and scrappy ute offspring but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Paceman Adventure will remain a concept car forever. MINI have dared to cross into uncharted waters before when they have been armed with a design concept that they believe is capable of making sufficient impact on the pre-existing market. If the Paceman Adventure piques the interest of enough MINI fans and potential first-time buyers then the jump from concept to production may prove to be a short one.
As you would expect from a car claiming utility status, the MINI Paceman Adventure has had its rear end cut away to allow for a smallish cargo tray. While it may not have the grand storage capacity of its bigger ute competition, there’s still sufficient room for a sizeable amount of tools and equipment to be safely stowed away.
Moving on to the cabin, there’s clearly been a significant amount of reworking as both driver and passenger will feel securely cosseted by the heavily bolstered sports bucket seats. No matter how rough the roads may be, occupants shouldn’t have to worry about being buffeted around the cabin too much.
A sturdy roof rack has also been added along with spot lights: an essential addition for negotiating remote areas safely and confidently.
The MINI ute’s designers clearly wanted to give it all of the tools necessary to tackle inhospitable roads and tracks. This is evident not only in the cabin redesign but also in the raised height and seriously heavy-duty tyres backed up by the previous-generation MINI’s 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine, which generates 135kW/260Nm. These elements combine to give the MINI Paceman Adventure sufficient muscle to take on the worst that winding mud tracks and rocky, uneven surfaces can throw at it.
A press statement from MINI claimed that the ute is “ready for just about anything”. Click here to find out more about the car’s capabilities which have given its designers such confidence. With any luck, the leap from concept car to production series may not be halted permanently. While it feels like the Paceman Adventure has been built merely as a thought experiment, such thoughts often lead to wildly successful end results. Only time, and potential a groundswell of popular opinion, can tell if this is the case with the MINI utility vehicle.