on board the future electric urban SUV

From 2023, Mini will offer three electric models in its range, including an unprecedented urban SUV. The Aceman is already foreshadowed by an almost definitive concept that we have been able to approach.

Mini aims to be 100% electric by 2030. To do this, the brand needs to complete its range, which today only includes a trendy 3-door city car, the Mini Cooper SE. Thus, an electric variant of the future Countryman is expected in 2024, with a larger size than the current SUV. To fill the gap between these two models, and offer an electric alternative to the 5-door Mini that will only be offered in a thermal variant, the English manufacturer presents its future model, again in the form of a concept car: the Aceman.

This 5-door, 5-seater concept, 90% close to the future production model, is an urban SUV. A popular segment, in which Mini had already made a foray a few years ago with the Paceman, a small 3-door SUV of 4.10 m. Note also the similarity of the name used! Compact, at just 4.05m long, the Aceman concept is 1.99m wide (mirrors deployed) and 1.59m high. So it’s barely bigger than the five-door Mini (4.02m) and a hair smaller than the first Countryman (2010-2016). However, it looks more imposing thanks to its SUV attributes: wide body protections with squared wheel arches, blue shoe at the front, shields and sills made of wet raw plastic, or even large 20-inch wheels with a triangle empty center and six. branches. These are reminiscent of recent Volvos such as the XC60 and S60/V60.

A reworked design for the brand will soon be 100% electric

This study foreshadows the future stylistic direction of the brand, but obviously incorporates some of the tricks of the Mini. At the front, the closed grille evokes that of previous models but is renewed with an octagonal shape instead of the usual hexagon. We note the total disappearance of chrome, but typical of the brand. This ‘grid’, which can be lit up with an animated English flag, is framed by a thin band of green light. The headlights incorporate LED matrix technology and recall those of the Countryman. Its shape is a little more angular, but it still has a typical Mini strap. Small oblong speakers in red are integrated on each side of the front and rear bumpers. This oblong shape is also found in other parts of the body such as the mirrors, the recessed handles (similar to those of a BMW i4) or the lower body insert.

On the roof, painted English green, a unique luggage rack. Shaped like an English flag, it has an iridescent paint that mixes blue, turquoise, green, purple and brown. Composed of green cross-shaped straps, this “rack” is visible through the large interior panoramic roof. At the rear, the large autoclave tailgate is framed by two lights incorporating the signature Union Jack with Matrix LED technology. The light signature can evolve with two designs (Union Jack or Arrow) and animations to switch from one to the other. This element could be kept standard with less animations provided according to the design team.

Colorful and customizable interior

On board, the Aceman concept offers a fun and colorful interior that can be customized. In fact, the horizontal dashboard, which is also oblong, receives geometric patterns thanks to a projection system from the central screen. Depending on the driving mode chosen, the screen changes: clouds, waves, scattered phrases, abstract geometric shapes… In the center, a large disc that serves as an OLED screen for the multimedia system evokes the counters of the first Minis of the 60s. Thus, it resumes the principle of Mini for decades. The system is based on the latest Android OS software.

Underneath the round slab, a switch-style shortcut bar is reminiscent of current and past Minis, which have similar aviation buttons for starting, driving mode management or even the sunroof. The upholstery opts for recycled materials instead of leather, and offers colorful colors and shapes. There is a jumble of white fabrics, green and blue speckles, orange and green stitching, purple belts or even colorful cross and circle designs on seams reminiscent of the world of video games. The steering wheel and door handles are covered in dark green velvet with small squares, which should not be found in series. On the other hand, the backlit textile surface of the volume controls or the speed control of the steering wheel spokes could be kept in the future… The center console slides from front to back, and lined with removable storage as want .

Three “experience modes” are built into the Aceman. Personal mode offers the ability to select a photo from your gallery for the center screen or a specific pattern on the acid panel. A pop-up mode allows you to discover a city by letting yourself be guided by GPS and board projections, just by choosing a category: “Adventures” (leisure activities), “Tasty” (restaurants) or “Trending” (popular place). Finally, the Vivid mode is more dedicated to relaxation during a load break for example, and offers to play with the projection of the board forming letters or drawings, accompanied by experimental sounds.

A study dedicated to the style of the moment

At the moment, the brand does not offer any technical information. Mini focuses on style with this concept, which previews what will be its first electric city SUV. It will therefore be necessary to wait a few months to know more about the engine or the on-board battery. This information will potentially come during the presentation of the next generation electric city car with which the SUV could share many elements. Both vehicles will be manufactured in China through a joint venture with Great Wall Motor. The presentation of the Aceman is planned for the course of 2023, its commercialization could take place at the beginning of 2024.

To see this Mini concept, you won’t have to count on the Paris Motor Show, as the entire BMW group angers the great Parisian masses. However, the Mini Aceman concept will be well presented to the public at the Gamescom video game fair. The event will take place from August 23 to 28 at the convention center in Cologne, Germany.

Images: Mini.

Also read on Auto-Moto.com:

Electric Mini Cabrio: a precursor prototype

Test drive Mini Cooper SE: our opinion behind the wheel of the electric Mini

Test Mini Cooper SE Countryman ALL4: Powerful SUV

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