You know it is only a matter of time before the presentation of a new model when a carmaker drops pictures of a barely camouflaged prototype as MINI did on Tuesday with the Paceman.
The new images show the three-door crossover model with only parts of the rear end covered in the traditional swirly livery we have come to expect from Mini's engineers over the past few years.
Not that we're surprised, mind you, as back in April, Kay Segler, Senior Vice President MINI Brand Management, had confirmed the name of the new model and announced that the Paceman would be presented in a "few months’ time and launched onto the market in 2013".
"The MINI Paceman is the world’s first Sports Activity Coupé in the premium compact segment. It combines a clear appetite for extravagance and infectious driving fun in a style that only a MINI could pull off with such authenticity,” Segler said during the aforementioned press conference.
What we get from these latest pictures is that the production model remains true to the styling of the Paceman concept previewed at the 2011 Detroit Motor Show, with only some minor changes to the exterior body trim such as the grille and side air vents.
The Paceman is based on floor structure of the five-door Countryman crossover with the two models also sharing the same engine lineup.
However, the Paceman is more than a three-door version of the Countryman as Mini's designers have penned a new exterior with a lower and sportier looking roofline, a rising waistline, more muscular rear fenders and a different rear end with bulging tail lights.