The Mini brand today showed off its vision for the electric future with the Concept Aceman, a new crossover that will fit between the Mini Cooper and the Mini Countryman in size. With bold design and new tech, the Mini Concept Aceman advances the brand’s look without giving up on what makes it special.
“The design language of the Mini Concept Aceman heralds the beginning of a new design era for Mini,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, head of BMW Group Design. Although it’s new, the team has attempted to stay true to the design features that have historically made a Mini a Mini. “We are returning to these now, but at the same time consistently combining them with innovative technology. With this approach, we are redeveloping the Mini design icons, with all their analogue strengths, for the digital future.”
New Design, Classic Proportions
The design team describes the thesis behind the Mini Concept Aceman’s design as “Charismatic Simplicity.” That means that it has a simple two-box shape, with the added charisma of sharply carved edges and athletic shoulders. At 13.2 feet (4.05 meters) long, 6.5 feet (1.99 meters) wide, and 5.2 feet (1.59 meters) tall, it’s just an inch and a half (4 cm) longer than a Mini Cooper four door and an inch and a half taller than a Mini Countryman and rides on 20-inch wheels.
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Its grille, meanwhile, doesn’t do much cooling but will do some lighting, because its octagonal perimeter is illuminated and a light array inside of it can display different designs. The headlights, meanwhile, are no longer round, but the taillights do still feature the Union Jack motif that has for so long defined the brand.
The exterior of the concept features no chrome to make it as green as possible. Visual intrigue comes instead from the British Racing Green roof section, which contrasts against the Icy Sunglow Green body color. The lower edge of the body is also finished in dark green while accents are painted blue and pink-orange, to highlight the vehicle’s bright, charismatic character.
As with the exterior, Mini has attempted to be green inside and has decided not to use any leather. Instead, it uses a combination of sustainable textiles, like velvet velour, waffle weave, an exaggerated houndstooth, and more, to give the interior textural depth and visual appeal.
“In the interior of the Mini Concept Aceman, we have concentrated on a simplistic appearance in combination with premium materials and welcoming colors,” said Oliver Heilmer, head of Mini Design. “Digitization enables us to make do with few operating elements and at the same time maximize the experience in a way that is characteristic of Mini.”
New Tech For The Electric Era
The marquee tech feature for the new Mini Concept Aceman is the round OLED screen. In a first for the brand, it will be based on the latest-generation MINI operating system, which is built on the Android Open Source Project software stack. The dashboard around the screen, meanwhile, is flat and is intended to look like a soundbar. That’s both aesthetic and functional, because the center screen’s display can be extended to be projected on the entire surface. The user interface, finally, has been designed to take advantage of this capacity and to be customizable.
“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,” says Stefanie Wurst, Head of Mini.
A production version of the Mini Concept Aceman is expected to hit the streets. Before that happens, though, the concept will make its live debut at Gamescon 2022 in Cologne, Germany. It will be displayed at the esports convention and presented during a livestream on August 23.