Meet the Paceman concept. Or should we say, meet the Paceman, as Mini just confirmed this car will in fact be the seventh sub-variant Mini has been able to shave off of from its well-selling niche brand. Seventh you ask? Yes friends, seven. There's the Mini, Mini S, the Mini Convertible, the Clubman, the Countryman, the upcoming Roadster sometime in 2011 and in 2012 we'll get the Coupe. What about the Mini S Convertible? We're not really sure, either.

Back to the Paceman - your eyes aren't deceiving you. It's essentially a two-door version of the Countryman with a sloping roof. Or, as Mini chief Ian Robinson put it, "The world's first crossover coupe in the small luxury car segment." You read it here first folks. Sadly Mini didn't provide us with any information beyond that, other than that the Paceman will be going into production. We're left to speculate that this will happen in 2013, maybe.

In other news, 2010 will go down in the books as the re-birthed brand's best year yet. 234,000 Minis found new homes. Perhaps more appropriate to the North American International Auto Show here in icy cold Detroit, since BMW relaunched the brand at the 2000 NAIAS, Americans have snapped up 300,000 Minis. Not only that, but the new Countryman is the official car of the US Winter Olympic team. Because of the Countryman's AWD chops, Mini has also just inked a partnership with snowboard pioneer Burton.