Mini unveils the Aceman Concept, its new electric urban crossover. With a length of 4.05 m, it will complete the city car offer in 2023 along with a hatchback (3-door Mini). The latter will also be the first production model to receive a new face. It will be officially unveiled in early 2023 and will be followed by the Aceman and Countryman during the same year.
Its name refers to the late Paceman, which was a 3-door Countryman coupe. The Oxford brand continues the idea of a coupe-SUV, but this time it adds two doors and exclusively electric motors. The 3- and 5-door Mini models, as well as the Countryman, will continue to offer thermal offerings in parallel.
“Mini’s strategy is based on three pillars: build an all-electric range by 2030, expand the brand’s presence in Asia and enrich the SUV offering,” explains Stephanie Wurst, CEO of Mini. With the new Aceman, the manufacturer is doing everything right.
Aceman will face new competitors of the same kind from Audi, Cupra and Toyota from 2024. To date, rare electric city SUVs such as Hyundai Kona, Opel Mokka-e, DS3 Crossback E-tense have such a compact format.
The model will also be one of the first models of the new electric range to be produced at the new Chinese plant in Zhangjiagang, which Mini shares with Great Wall as part of a partnership. Mini replicates the same strategy as Smart with No. 1 and many manufacturers today: design in Europe and manufacturing in China.
The Aceman shows off a chunky silhouette enhanced by its large width (1.99m), low height (1.59m) and imposing 20-inch wheels. Roundness, a hallmark of the Mini’s design, gives way to a few body creases on the fenders, wheel arches and bonnet. Luke will also follow this “reliability” trend.
Tail light signature is customizable.
Charismatic design elements such as the British flag-shaped taillights, octagonal grille and front optics have been upgraded thanks to extensive work on LED lighting. All of these items are customizable. For example, the buyer will be able to choose between several light signatures for the taillights, including the Union Jack, and several colors for the strip surrounding the grille.
The very minimalistic interior goes back to the origins of the brand and follows the precepts of its founder, Alec Issigonis. Namely, the reduction of design and controls to the bare necessities. The goal is achieved because the Aceman’s cockpit consists of a steering wheel, a circular touch screen and a center console kept to a minimum. The production model will follow this minimalist trend.
The circular floating OLED touch screen is the world’s first automotive, according to the manufacturer. For the first time in a Mini, it is equipped with the Android operating system. This allows you to link to an interesting dashboard. The latter, covered in fabric, is designed as a soundbar that extends over the doors. Its design allows images projected from the ceiling to be reflected, accompanied by a sound environment, to immerse passengers in a sensory experience, Mini explains. The driver always benefits from a new dashboard.
Light and sound are part of this concept, which reacts (inside and out) according to the conditions that arise. For example, when the car is unlocked or when it is charging, a sound and light cutscene will occur.
Moving the launch controls, gear selector and parking brake under the dash has freed up floor storage space between the driver and passenger seats that extends to the rear seats. You can install a cup holder and various storage modules on it.
With this concept, Mini intends to offer 5 passengers a joyful, pleasant and interesting environment. Numerous sound and light animations are accompanied by colorful interior trim with rich materials. The seats, for example, are upholstered in ‘Desigual’ style embossed fabrics that mix textures, colors and reliefs. The steering wheel and door handles are upholstered in velvet. Finally, don’t expect leather, Aceman won’t offer it.
Rear seat space seems to be adequate for a car of this size (it was impossible to get in) and legroom in particular compared to the DS3 Crossback E-Tense. For now, Mini remains cautious about trunk space, engines, and battery capacity of its production model. One thing is for sure, the power will be more than the current Cooper SE (32.6 kWh). Aceman’s electrician-friendly design allows batteries to be placed in the floor, allowing for greater capacity. Around 50kWh is estimated to be the full capacity of the package that the Aceman will be equipped with.
The Mini Aceman concept will make its first public appearance on August 23 at the Gamescom 2022 video game show in Cologne.