A concept car from MINI is always a good surprise. Therefore, an electric crossover concept is of particular interest to us. Direction Düsseldorf to discover the MINI Concept Aceman.
MINI gives us a glimpse of the aesthetic and technological direction of its future electric models. The manufacturer leaves its comfort zone with a first-ever 100% electric crossover, one of a kind: the MINI Concept Aceman. On the program is a premium and family city car, positioned between the traditional MINI Cooper and the MINI Countryman. A concept that also anticipates the fun, immersive and digital experience that the brand is aiming for.
The MINI Concept Aceman in terms of looks: “Charismatic Simplicity”
That’s the name of the new design era signed MINI. But what do simplicity and charisma mean? In concrete terms, this means a vehicle that concentrates on the essentials of what makes a MINI. A modernized return to basics, embodied by an octagonal grille, muscular waistline and refined rear end. The visual signature features the glowing and dancing animations of the front and rear matrix LED lights. The iconic “Union Jack” flag runs through the MINI Concept Aceman from front to back. Grille, wheel arches, roof racks, taillights… and again, that only applies to the exterior. The ‘so British’ DNA continues inside, with the same roof racks visible from the panoramic roof and an element between the windscreen and dashboard. All elements of the concept are of course not retained on the production model …
But it all stays true to the brand’s innovative and conservative vision. The MINI Concept Aceman has a turquoise paint finish in “Icy Sunglow Green” with golden reflections in full light. The traditional English metallic green (British Racing Green) is there as it covers the roof of the electric crossover. Note also the orange-pink iridescent reflections that give the Aceman Concept a touch of visual dynamism. Its dimensions: 4.05 m long, 1.99 m wide and 1.59 m high. The proportions are rewarding, with 20 inch wheels drawn at the 4 corners and the muscular sides therefore. The hood shape and off-road visual attributes contribute to the tough, urban crossover personality that the Aceman exudes. Finally, the aerodynamic touch is appropriate with two rear “spoilers” in the high and low positions. Of particular note is the “MINI Companion” welcome light, whose animation can be personalized.
Neo-retro inspirations and experience modes
The Aceman Concept – whose name is retained for the production model – welcomes us into a cabin that is as original as it is high-tech. But before we talk about technology, let’s talk about design. True to the classic MINI, the interior of the crossover is based on three essential elements. A steering wheel, central counter (here a very nifty OLED screen) and rocker switches just below. On either side of the screen, the dashboard comes to life thanks to image projections across its entire surface. These are sent directly from the headliner of the MINI Concept Aceman. Depending on the atmospheres and modes chosen, the projections can extend the content displayed on the central screen onto the door panels. Enough to enhance the onboard immersion with a bright and colorful experience that matches the glamor of the crossover. Not to mention the practical and modular center console, which can even be completely slid from front to back.
As another novelty, the system of the production model will be based on Android. The MINI Aceman will therefore support Android Auto! There are three experience modes available: Personal, Pop-up, and Vivid. The first allows you to customize images and widgets on the central screen. The second is aimed at urban adventurers, proposing ideas for excursions, restaurants and places to visit according to their desires. The latest promises make stopping at traffic lights or bollards less of a nuisance. This is done by “extending” the display area on the dashboard for “entertaining interactions” that have yet to be defined. At Automobile Propre, for example, we imagine the projection of green driving advice or even small anecdotes. Why not mini-games, but that would include touch-sensing projection on the dashboard. In any case, we know that MINI will be able to keep it entertaining without becoming a distraction.
MINI Concept Aceman: what performance in sight?
On the upholstery side, the MINI Concept Aceman can rely on an uncompromising “pop” vibe. The electric crossover offers space for 5 occupants on colorful seats. Xs, O’s, patches, purple belts, eye-catching decorative seams… a colorful program! All without chrome or animal-derived leather for a durable and eco-conscious design. A true concept study, the MINI Concept Aceman reminds us of the Renault Scenic Vision: a showcase of technological innovation and the stylistic language of the brand’s future model generations. Except that the Aceman will be as real as it is, with a production model that is 95% identical to the concept car. The final presentation will take place for 2023, and the first deliveries should follow by 2024. Note that the first 100% electric MINI 3-door will arrive shortly before. The production of the MINI Aceman is entirely made in China.
The MINI Concept Aceman, on the other hand, does not tell us any technical data. Nevertheless, we can at least already imagine the advantages of the MINI Cooper SE. Namely electric traction of 135 kW (184 hp) and 270 Nm, but a larger battery. This could increase to 50 kWh (versus 32.6 kWh) for an advertised autonomy of around 400 km. Everything for charging up to 130 kW, i.e. a theoretical quick charge in less than 30 minutes. Different versions will certainly be in the catalogue. A purely hypothetical estimate, but one that could be consistent with the Aceman’s family-urban vocation. We will update this article once we know more about it. In the meantime, let us know what you expect in terms of performance and battery life in the comments!