The Mini Paceman, which the iconic brand introduced as a concept at the North American International Auto Show, will soon be on the roads - but it hasn't been a universally welcomed announcement.
Ian Robertson, a board member at BMW which owns the Mini brand, confirmed that a vehicle based on the Paceman will enter production as the seventh member of the Mini family in a presentation January 10.
The Paceman is a slightly squatter version of the Countryman and sports two doors and a more muscular, aggressive profile than its larger counterpart.
It offers a 1.6 liter engine from Mini John Cooper Works which delivers 211 hp and will also be available with Mini's MINIALL4 four-wheel-drive technology, helping to put it firmly in the sports vehicle category.
"Mini is going into territory where no one's been before - it's the first crossover coupé in the premium small car segment," said Robertson.
"This car captures the typical Mini characteristics - unique design, clever functionality and signature driving fun - with a new level of agility."
Although many fans of the iconic cars will be delighted with the announcement, it drew criticism from some commentators who fear that a seventh model could dilute the brand's core values even further.
On Mini enthusiast blogs such as MotoringFile, the launch provoked even more of a debate, with opinions ranging from "That's good news. I think it's great MINI is producing more models," to "I don't get it. Too many models already."
The North American International Auto Show is open to the public January 15 - 23 in Detroit, Michigan.Reuse content