Last year BMW wrapped a fleet of X1s for New Zealand Fashion Week, and now its sister company Mini is getting in on the act, wrapping the new Mini Paceman in an aggro floral print for the release of a local fashion label's new range.
The Paceman, which launched in New Zealand last week, was clad in a Stolen Girlfriends Club print ahead of its May 29 launch, with the idea that the Mini itself would become a "model".
The print is called Death Moth and cunningly looks like a gentle floral print from far away, but closer inspection reveals small details such as moths and tiny hand grenades.
Mini brand manager Simonne Mearns said Mini is a "provocative, savvy and daring" brand in terms of both looks and performance, and the collaboration was "an unapologetic statement of style and individuality".
Idealog got to drive the wrapped Paceman for a week before we had to hand it over to NZ Marketing editor Ben Fahy (who looks much flasher driving it, we must admit). Apparently it's built on a Countryman chassis, although it's a Cooper by technicality. Whatever – it goes like death (moth).
Die-hard Mini fans may not fall in love with the Paceman, however. It's slightly lower in the roof than your traditional Mini (by 4cm), but it's higher off the ground, so you feel like you're in a bit of a Remuera tractor. It seems like the idea is Mini + SUV = Paceman. So if you like the ingredients in that equation, you'll probably love the result.
It's still got the traditional Mini detailing and is certainly recognisable as one of the family. (And it's FAST.)
Mearns told Idealog the Paceman was intended to appeal to young, early adopter males who were into the latest thing.
The car has a "muscular coupe silhouette" and is designed as a four-seater for a "lounge-like atmosphere". In other words, you'll never cram a fifth person into the middle seat, but life will be more comfortable for everyone with just the four seats.
The ultimate verdict? Idealog prefers the traditional Mini (see our review on the Baker St limited edition), but if you're a young, trendy early-adopter male with equally muscular features (like Ben Fahy), you might well enjoy the Paceman.