MINI seems to have a knack for unveiling cool concept cars that eventually make it to production. It started with the original Clubman concept and then the Crossover concept, which progressed into the Countryman, and more recently we saw the Coupe and Roadster concepts, both of which have been confirmed for production.

Now, MINI has unveiled the Paceman concept, a two-door version of the Countryman described as a “crossover coupe” and the official word is that it’s headed for production.

That official word has come directly from BMW board member Robertson, who stated during a press conference at this week’s 2011 Detroit Auto Show: “I’m thrilled to tell you now, for the very first time, that there will be a seventh member of the MINI family--and we will base it on this concept”.

The other six models in MINI’s lineup include the current Cooper, Cooper Convertible, Clubman, Countryman and new Coupe, arriving later this year, and a new Roadster set to debut in 2012.

Robertson also revealed that the Paceman is about to enter the engineering phase and that the production version won’t be identical to the concept but it will have a “very strong” resemblance. A final launch date is expected to be announced in the next few months.