This week’s Automotive News has a short piece on what to expect from MINI in Detroit. Here’s a quick excerpt:

While the press is calling the Traveller a wagon, Mini executives hate that word.

“Whatever this is, it is definitely not a wagon. It is something else,” Kay Segler, vice president of Mini brand management, said during a November interview.

You can read the entire Automotive News Detroit preview below:

[ Pony cars may outbuzz SUVs, crossovers ] Automotive News

MF Analysis: BMW historically has distanced itself from the word wagon. Ever since the 2002 BMW has shied away from its usage, instead opting for the word “touring” for certain BMW products. I can certainly see the MINI folks going a similar route and insisting on a word like “Traveller” for the upcoming long wheelbase MINI. Not only does it evoke MINI heritage but it distances the car from the dumpy American wagons of the 70’s that some car buyers may still have bad memories of.

Regardless of what they call it, we may actually hear some concrete plans for the 2007 product in the next few weeks. We’ll have more on the “winter sport themed” concept (including more photos) in the coming days.