BMW’s path for Mini is clear: “The Mini brand will have an all-electric product range by the early 2030s.” As such, we’re beginning to see an influx of Mini EV concepts. The one-off all-electric Mini Cooper SE convertible was shown just a couple of weeks ago, and the Mini Concept Aceman made itself known this week.
If produced, the Concept Aceman will be Mini’s first all-electric crossover. It’s kind of like the Mini Paceman, which was Mini’s three-door gasoline-powered crossover produced between 2013 and 2016. Of course, since the Aceman doesn’t use any petrol, Mini simply removed the “P” from Paceman for the EV Aceman crossover’s name. Head of the MINI Brand Stefanie Wurst says “The Mini Concept Aceman provides an initial glimpse of a completely new vehicle, bridging the space between the MINI Cooper and the Mini Countryman in the model family’s future.”
Wurst added, “This concept car reflects how MINI is reinventing itself for its all-electric future and what the brand stands for: an electrified go-kart feel, an immersive digital experience and a strong focus on a minimal environmental footprint.” The minimal environmental footprint isn’t just from a lack of emissions and better production methods–Mini also made this concept leather-free (save the animals) and chrome-free (toxic plating process).
From Mini’s press release, we get a peak of Mini’s new design direction: “more surfaces constructed from knitted recycled textile with fresh color contrasts combine with seamless digital controls with a new OLED display as the central interface. The all-electric models of the next generation are also given an independent sound design for the first time, providing emotionally compelling drive sounds and an authentic background for the new Experience Modes.”
Experience Modes make up a unique and driver-customized interior experience that, according to Mini, consist of “specific displays and color worlds, which are depicted on the central interface panel and through interior projection, and a coordinated sound stage.” There are three: personal (select your own motif), pop-up (Mini suggests adventurous destinations on your route), and vivid (entertaining visualizations while stopped) .
Oliver Heilmer, Head of MINI Design, adds “the purely electric vehicle concept makes it possible to steer the design more towards the traditional core values of Mini in line with the traditional principle of creative use of space–models that take up little space on the road while offering even more comfort, more versatility, and more emotion on the inside than ever before.”
The Concept Aceman has a chiseled look around its quarters coupled with a tall, upright grille. The front grille is closed and consists of a matrix of LEDs, providing a lightshow that could win any parking lot peacocking contest. The Union Jack can be seen on tail lights and roof rack–unmistakably Mini.
The Mini Aceman will make its first public appearance at gamescom 2022, a computer and gaming event that runs from the 23rd to the 28th of August at the Cologne Exhibition Center. —Mike Bevels
[Photos courtesy of Mini.]