It looked like the Mini would become a leader in the shift to electric vehicles, but the brand has lagged behind and only offers the Mini Cooper SE with a limited range of 114 miles. Now, it looks like the British small car brand is poised to catch up or at least preview its electric future. On Tuesday, Mini showed the Concept Acemen, a small electric car that sets the tone for the brand’s future design and likely premieres a new model.
The Aceman Concept blends traditional Mini traits with a new green era. “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 minimal environmental impact.” Stefanie Wurst, Head of the MINI brand said in a press release.
In addition to an electric powertrain, Concept Acemen uses no leather and avoids chrome, which creates emissions in the plating process.
Mini Concept Aceman
Mini calls the new look Charismatic Simplicity and says it focuses on the essential while embracing technology. The design of the Aceman has a distinctive Mini look and employs some playful flourishes that highlight the car’s British roots. Elements of the Union Jack’s British flag appear in the roof rack and in the new front and rear lighting via matrix LED lighting. This lighting, which is accompanied by a sound, also provides a startup animation and lights up more when people approach the car. A five-door hatchback with the short front and rear overhangs characteristic of the Mini, the Aceman gets cross-over cues like the roof rack and trim around the wheels and along the lower body. The Mini calls it a crossover, but to us it looks more like a car.
It spans just 159.4 inches in length, giving it a sub-compact footprint, but its 78.3-inch width and 62.6-inch height are similar to compact or mid-size crossovers.
Mini Concept Aceman
Up front, an illuminated octagonal face replaces the hexagonal look with chrome rings of current cars, and the headlights are now rounded trapezoidal rather than circular. The headlights and running lights also get a green hue, which we doubt will make it into production. Along the sides, the wheel arches are quite pronounced with a blocky appearance. The car runs on 20-inch wheels in concept form, but we would expect smaller wheels in a production car.
The concept is painted Icy Sunglow Green with a British Racing Green roof and a matte dark green lower body trim. Below, the wheels are navy blue and the underbody panels are royal blue. Speakers on the front and rear bumpers painted in an orange-pink hue warn pedestrians that the car is nearby.
Mini Concept Aceman
A panoramic roof gives the simple cockpit design an open feel. Mini says the dashboard is styled like a soundbar and made with a soft fabric. Its flat surface is interrupted by a single round digital display for managing infotainment gauges and information. As with the Mini custom, a row of toggle switches and rotary knobs are located below it for adjusting the audio system, setting the parking brake, selecting gears and switching between the Mini’s Experience modes. These modes provide their own color and sound palettes and access to various infotainment features. Velvet velvet covers the seats and the steering wheel.
Mini did not provide information on powertrain power, battery pack size or electric range. Hopefully, a production Acemen will feature a larger battery pack capable of providing more than 114 miles of range.
The Aceman is likely to pave the way for future Mini EVs. Mini has confirmed that it will introduce its last gas-powered car in 2025 and will only sell electric cars in the early 1930s.
The Mini Concept Aceman will make its public debut August 23-28 at the Gamescom 2022 computer and video game fair in Cologne, Germany.