The Mini has finally lifted the veil on its first electric crossover – and we can’t decide whether the British automaker is genius or just plain wacky.
Officially dubbed the Aceman (not to be confused with the brand’s Paceman three-door SUV), the upcoming production EV features several design quirks that hark back to the brand’s sixties roots and symbolize Mini’s push toward a future. fully electric.
Among the oddities are a circular (yes, circular) OLED infotainment screen – similar to the speedometer design on the original Mini – a velvet-covered steering wheel and a roof rack that, viewed from above, takes the form of a Union flag.
It’s worth noting that the Aceman remains a concept vehicle, so not all of the new design features will hit the production line in 2024 – the car’s external speakers and fully bizarre light projector system (opens in new tab)for example, may or may not make the final cut – but Mini exec Oliver Heilmer recently said self express (opens in new tab) that the crossover is “80% complete”.
The circular OLED display, however, is the real deal – “due to digitalization, we are able to achieve [this classic design] again,” Heilmer told Autoexpress – and the screen in question will be above a small bank of switches, likely housing the Aceman’s switch, parking brake, gear selector, driving modes and volume control.
The crossover’s exterior is also suitably different. Rather than sticking with the rounded features we’ve come to expect from Minis, the Aceman is a more angular beast, with head and tail lights not dissimilar to those found on modern EVs like the Honda, Hyundai and Kia.
This futuristic aesthetic is, of course, entirely deliberate. “Since this [car] is the newest member of the family, it was clear to us that [it] it will have a modern approach, it will come out of the language in a typical way,” Mini design head Heilmer told Auto Express in the aforementioned interview.
We don’t know the Aceman’s performance specs yet, but based on the same electrical architecture as the brand’s upcoming Hatch model, we expect to see two variants offered: one with a 40kWh battery with around 200 miles of range, and the other with a 50kWh battery. aiming over 250 miles.
We do know, however, that Aceman will appear in physical form at Gamescom 2022 in August in Cologne, before making his non-conceptual debut next year. We will share more details as soon as we have them.
For more on the latest electric vehicles, check out our all-electric DeLorean DMC breakdown, our review of the new Mercedes EQXX range record, and our thoughts on Hyundai’s upcoming Ioniq 5 SUV.