MINI's stylish Paceman concept has reportedly moved closer to a market debut this week, with reports out of the US suggesting that production has been given the go-ahead.
Reports of a future for the Paceman have been circulating for some time. Now, according to US magazine Car & Driver, MINI boss Kay Segler has confirmed a 2013 or early 2014 debut.
The report follows comments from BMW AG board member Ian Robertson earlier this year, confirming the development of a seventh model in the MINI range.
Essentially a three-door version of the high-riding Countryman, the Paceman concept brings a number of styling tweaks that include a unique C-pillar and restyled tail-lights.
Whether these features will carry over to the production model - and other MINI models - remains to be seen.
Reports in recent months point to an evolution of the Paceman's look however, including its bulging guards, sloping beltline, wraparound glasshouse and lighting.
Power is provided by the same 1.6 litre twin-scroll turbocharged engine found in the brand's John Cooper Works models, developing 155kW and 260Nm of torque.
Like the Range Rover Evoque, the MINI Paceman concept appears almost production-ready in its current state, suggesting a market debut may not be as far away as it might seem.
For now, the next new model for MINI will be the Coupe, revealed in June and due for an Australian market debut later this year.