Mini has showcased the first images of its new Countryman model in the form of the four-wheel drive Paceman concept.

The latest model in the Mini range will be a three-door model that is based heavily on the larger five-door Countryman and has been commissioned to celebrate ten years since Mini’s American re-launch.

The North American International Auto Show – in Detroit -will provide the venue for the unveiling from 10 January.

Mini’s newest idea will take the form of a ‘sport activity coupe’ and is a further example of Mini’s determination to inhabit some of the more niche areas of the market.

Despite holding a lot of similarities with the Countryman and being based on the same design the Paceman concept is a noticeably different car.

Its roofline is raked and sleek while its C-pillars have been made transparent to create what Mini calls a ‘floating roof’ effect – combined, these two design features create a wedge shape.

Similarly, the rear lights of the Paceman have been moved outwards to accentuate its muscular stance and hammer home its wedge shape.

The Paceman concept has been finished in metallic green with a contrasting white roof and door mirrors while the unique design has been topped off by copper highlights throughout.

Inside the Paceman does everything the Countryman does however leather upholstery, a redesigned side trim and shaped arm rests have all been added.

Under the bonnet the Mini concept is equipped with a 1.6-litre twin-scroll turbocharged engine. The Mini John Cooper Works powertrain is the flagship of the Mini brand, delivering 211bhp.

The Mini Paceman will be on display in America from 10 January.

Its reception at the motor show could prove pivotal in deciding the fate of the concept with a possible production date in 2012.

Askaprice.com holds a number of Mini business lease deals including a range of Mini Cooper business lease options.