By Paul Whiston, July 27, 2022
BMW has revealed the Mini Aceman, a concept study that is intended to preview a future pure electric product roadmap. The Aceman concept is a crossover estate that is just a little shorter, a little bit taller than the current BMW Mini Countryman. The Aceman’s design language clearly references the BMW Mini Hatch. It appears BMW’s designers have supersized the Mini Hatch which has led them to create the Aceman concept as revealed today. Sources speculate that the Aceman concept differs very little from the retail version which is slated to go into production in 2024. The future Aceman model will not replace the Countryman, rather it will sit alongside BMW Mini’s current model lineup as a standalone pure electric vehicle.
To make way for the Aceman BMW Mini will phase out the Clubman, which is the estate version of the 2-door hatch. Indeed the Aceman could be viewed as a replacement for the BMW Mini Paceman. The Paceman was a weird stretched Mini Hatch, kind of like a shooting-brake that had very low sales volume, so low that it was discontinued after 3 years.
BMW has yet to reveal the Aceman’s electric powertrain. However one can speculate that it will use the electric motors and battery tech from the BMW i3. So expect a battery pack of up to 60kWh, 181bhp of performance, RWD and AWD variants, a range of 200 miles, and superfast charging capability.
The purpose of any concept is to engage with a future audience through a blaze of publicity by putting the media spotlight directly on the concept. BMW Mini would much rather talk about the “reduced exterior and interior design“, the holistic user experience of light, movement, interaction, and sound.
The Aceman’s interior materials are constructed from knitted recycled textile with fresh colour contrasts combine with seamless digital controls with a new OLED display as the central interface.
Chrome elements are completely dispensed with – not only in the exterior of the BMW Mini Concept Aceman, but also inside. Instead, the dashboard support structure creates its own high-quality, individual highlight in the interior.
The steering wheel of the BMW Mini Concept Aceman, like the seats, door panels and all other interior surfaces, is leather-free. The steering wheel rim is laminated with dark green velvet velour. The multifunction buttons are integrated under backlit textile surfaces.
The radiator grille element at the centre of the vehicle front is surrounded by clear surfaces, the traditionally hexagonal outline having been further refined into an octagonal contour. The new design is accentuated by an illuminated surround.
The all-electric models of the next generation are also given an independent sound design with the new Experience Modes.
Will the BMW Mini Aceman be as cool looking as the concept? We’ll have to wait for 2024 to arrive to believe it.