It's also tricky to judge just how much of an impact the three-door arrangement will really have on practicality, because the car we photographed had no interior.
We know the Paceman occupies just as much roadspace as the Countryman between a Polo and Golf so we can make some educated guesses.
The doors are bigger, that's obvious, and a production version would have sliding front seats to further ease access to the back. Mini also promises headroom would be identical to the Countryman's decent offering because the drop in the roofline is matched by a drop in the height of the two rear seats.
That does mean they'd have to be fixed in place, however, with none of the fore and aft movement of the Countryman. However, we'd expect rear legroom to be okay and boot space reasonable.
There will still be the narrow aperture to get your loads through into the loadbay very narrow judging by the rear light clusters but the seats should fold down.
As in the Countryman, youll have the option of a centre rail that stretches from the front to the back of the four-seater cabin. Youll be able to clip cupholders and iPod mounts to it.
Will it be built?
Mini is waiting to see what reaction the car gets at the Detroit Motor Show this January, but it's almost certain to be signed off for production.
We'll lose some touches, such as the copper strip over the front wheelarch, and the leather door handles and fuel-filler tag, but you can expect it to appear around the middle of 2012.
The Paceman might offer Polo amounts of space inside but, like the Countryman, prices are likely to be set squarely in Golf territory. Only more powerful engines are expected, with prices starting at around 22,000.