PEABODY, MASS. (01/30/2013)(readMedia)-- Following its arrival for the 2011 model year, the MINI Countryman quickly became the second best seller for the eccentric auto brand. In 2012 the compact crossover was instrumental in MINI's best-ever year of U.S. sales, accounting for nearly a third of the brand's volume. That success helped MINI's overall sales rise by 15 percent year-over-year, with more than 66,000 models finding new homes last year.
The MINI Countryman capped off 2012 with a 12 percent sales increase in December compared to the same month in 2011, bringing its total for the year to more than 21,000 units. As the first MINI with four doors and available ALL4 all-wheel drive, the Countryman offers buyers versatility in compact form. The thought of all-conditions capability has proven popular with MINI buyers, as the Cooper S Countryman ALL4 was the vehicle's best-selling variant last year.
"New England winters call for a car that can handle the crazy weather, but a lot of drivers still want a ride that's going to be fun on the dry days, as well as fuel efficient during their commute," said Marshal Cabot, general manager of MINI of Peabody, a Greater Boston MINI dealer. "The Countryman is engaging in the turns, but solid in the snow, and to top it off, it is surprisingly spacious despite its compact size."
Hoping to build on its recent sales success, MINI will soon launch a capable coupe based on the Countryman: the all-new Paceman. Offering the same advanced all-wheel-drive system with two fewer doors, the 2013 MINI Paceman will provide buyers with a sportier take on the Countryman when it goes on sale in March. Though it largely shares the same body as its four-door sibling, the Paceman features bolder styling cues like a more drastically sloping roofline and an integrated spoiler.
For buyers that want to back up the Paceman's more aggressive demeanor with greater performance, MINI unveiled the John Cooper Works Paceman at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this month. Featuring a 208-horsepower four-cylinder turbocharged engine, the 2013 MINI John Cooper Works Paceman will be able to sprint from zero to 60 mph in a brisk 6.5 seconds. Even with that impressive responsiveness, early EPA estimates place the model at 31 mpg on the highway with its standard six-speed manual transmission.
"The Paceman will be the seventh model to join the MINI lineup since the brand arrived in America more than a decade ago, and now all of those models come in a high-performance John Cooper Works trim," added Cabot. "While the Paceman gives buyers yet another option for finding their ideal mix of style and space, you know it won't be lacking in driving fun because it's a MINI."
About MINI of Peabody:
Since 2002, MINI of Peabody has been the leading source for new and used MINI vehicles in Northern New England. Their dedication to professional, friendly customer service allowed them to win the 2009 MINI Motoring Cup, a national award presented to the dealership that has the highest sales and customer satisfaction. Their new location in Peabody offers a state-of-the art service center and an expanded selection of MINI parts and accessories. See their MINI inventory or schedule a service appointment at www.minipeabody.com, call (877) 212-9727, like them on at www.facebook.com/miniofpeabody or visit their new showroom at 209 Andover Street (Route 114) in Peabody, Massachusetts.