In a move that appears like a late April Fools' prank, MINI has revealed a pickup version of the Cooper S Paceman. The Paceman Adventure loses its rear seats in favor of a small bed and is beefed up for off-road driving. Useful or just plain weird – you decide.
The Paceman Adventure isn't a preview of a potential production MINI truck. It's a project that MINI used to nurture young, learning minds. MINI instructors worked on the vision with their apprentices in BMW's plants in Munich and Dingolfing.
The Paceman may seem like a completely random candidate for a pickup conversion, but there was at least a little method to the madness. The team chose the 184-hp Cooper S Paceman ALL4 for its rugged (for a MINI) all-wheel drive design. To add some grit, MINI increased the ground clearance, hooked up a snorkel-style roof air intake, added a set of off-road tires and threw a roof rack with off-road lighting on top.
MINI says that the converted car would be at home on gravel roads, desert trails, muddy thoroughfares and even the occasional river crossing. It doesn't exactly pack the haul space of a full-size pickup, but its bed would come in handy for smaller items, such as a toolbox or luggage.
While the MINI Paceman Adventure may seem completely foreign to those familiar only with recent MINI vehicles, a diminutive, two-door Mini pickup (seen above) did once roam roadways. The model was launched in 1961, back when Mini was part of British Motor Corporation. It was one of several body alternatives offered in Mini's early days, also including a station wagon and a van, and sold close to 60,000 units over its two decades on the market.
MINI is quite clear that the Paceman Adventure isn't the start of a Mini Pick-up revival, saying, "The MINI Paceman Adventure is a true one-off and there are no plans for series production."
If you like the vehicle, you might also want to check out the smart for-us – an electric pickup version of the smart fortwo.