Once again, BMW's Mini division has taken what began as a concept variant of the basic Mini theme and translated it into a production model – the Mini Paceman concept, which was introduced at the 2011 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The production Mini Paceman - the seventh model in the niche-brand's lineup is, in BMW-speak, a four-passenger Sports Activity Coupé with two doors, a tailgate, two individual rear seats that will nominally accommodate adults, and what the company calls a variable-usage interior.
In effect, it's a coupé version of the Countryman, complete with that model's larger dimensions and all-wheel-drive.
Apart from being a to-door, the Paceman differs in appearance with a coupé-style roof that slopes downwards towards the rear and taillights that are horizontal in design, a Mini first.
Behind the individual rear seats are 330 litres of cargo space, which increases to 1,080 litres when the rear seat-backs are folded down.
The new model also comes standard with lowered sports suspension that is said to give it the more characteristic go-kart-like handling of a conventional Mini, rather than the Countryman's more relaxed degree of body control.
The powertrain lineup is standard Mini fare, with a 121-hp, 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine in the Cooper and a 181-hp turbocharged version in the Cooper S. A more powerful John Cooper Works Paceman is in the future product plans.
The Mini Paceman is scheduled to go on sale in Canada next spring.