New MINI Aceman: details, specifications and when the small SUV MINI EV will be unveiled in 2024

2024 is going to be a very busy year for MINI, with the arrival of the highly anticipated MINI Cooper and third-generation Countryman SUV, along with the unveiling of the all-new, all-electric MINI Aceman which we spied and revealed. about it in Germany.

As an all-electric crossover, the Aceman will be presented as a competitor to the Hyundai Kona Electric, Volvo EX30, Renault Megane E-Tech, Jeep Avenger and Smart #1, as well as the upcoming Ford Puma EV. It will also fill the void left by the five-door MINI Hatch, which sits between the three-door Cooper and the larger Countryman SUV in the MINI range.

The Aceman will use the same platform as the new MINI Cooper, and is also expected to borrow pure electric powertrain options from its smaller sibling. This means the entry-level Aceman E should use a 40 kWh battery for a range of around 200 miles, with SE versions getting a larger 54 kWh for a range closer to 250 miles.

What will the MINI Aceman look like?

We’ve seen heavily disguised prototypes of the Aceman several times at this point, and it’s clear the car will use the brand’s new design language seen on the new Cooper and Countryman. It will also carry a lot of inspiration from the Concept Aceman that we saw in 2022.

Our exclusive photos give you a better idea of ​​what the finished crossover should look like. Up front, it will have more angular headlights than traditionally seen on MINIs and an octagonal grille similar to its siblings. Just like on other MINIs, we will see a lower window line that wraps around the car combined with the classic two-tone roofline and MINI’s signature Union Jack taillight ornament.

The windshield appears steeper than some outgoing MINI models, perhaps because the Aceman will only be offered with EV power, making aerodynamic efficiency even more important.

The Aceman will be differentiated from the brand’s upcoming Golf-sized hatchback thanks to a higher ride height and thicker plastic cladding around the wheel arches.

How big and practical is it?

As the Countryman grows to over 4.4 metres, Auto Express understands that the Aceman will have similar dimensions to the original MINI Countryman, measuring just over four meters from nose to tail.

When we had the chance to sit in a prototype ourselves, we found that with the wheels pushed to the far corners of the bodywork, the Aceman offers enough room in the back for a six-foot-tall passenger to sit behind a similar car. Size driver. The trunk is rather small, with a high threshold for lifting items.

What does the interior design look like?

The Aceman’s cabin should be almost identical to that of the three-door hatch, the centerpiece of which is an ultra-thin 9.4-inch circular OLED display responsible for both infotainment and vital driver information such as speed and charging status – just like the setup in the Volvo EX30.

There will also be a selection of ‘MINI Experience Modes’ on offer which change the look of the screen and interior lighting, and provide their own unique soundtrack. In the MINI Cooper, drivers can choose between Basic, Green, Go-Kart, Personal, Lively, Timeless and Balance modes.

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Speaking to Auto Express, MINI boss Stephanie Wurst revealed that the new Aceman crossover will be a “fun concept” and that “a go-kart feel will always be of paramount importance”. He also confirmed that hot John Cooper Works versions of every new MINI are on the cards, so an extra-powerful Aceman sports car could serve as a range-topping model.

When will it go on sale?

The MINI Aceman is likely to be unveiled in mid-2024 before going on sale early next year. Initially, the Aceman will be built alongside the three-door MINI Cooper Electric in China, but following a £600m investment in MINI’s Oxford factory, both cars will also be built in the UK from 2026.

What can we learn from the MINI Aceman concept car?

We first heard the Aceman name in 2022, when the MINI Concept Aceman was unveiled. We spoke to Oliver Helmer, Head of MINI Design, who talked about the Aceman concept.

“Since this is the new member of the family, it was clear to us that this would have a modern approach, and would depart from the typical model language.”

Although similar in length to the soon-to-be discontinued MINI five-door hatch, the Aceman concept is wider and longer, with an SUV-inspired shape. The two-box side profile with the wheels pushed directly to the extreme ends of the car’s body means the car’s overhangs are short, which also makes the most of interior space, and it is on this chunky silhouette that the new design language, called ‘Charismatic Minimalism’, emerges.’ .

The front end of the car is where the Aceman makes a significant shift from MINI’s current design language, with a new face completely designed for the brand’s electric era. Importantly, the headlights are not round, but Helmer says the new fascia is in many ways “more classic” than the brand’s current look, due to the new turquoise-lit octagonal frame grille element.

Red vertical elements emphasize the car’s height, but are also home to a pair of external speakers – one of many concept car touches spread throughout the Aceman. Another set was found in the back curtain.

The speakers provide an acoustic welcome to the driver as he approaches the vehicle, but also draw attention to the new generation of sound design being created for the next generation of MINI electric models. “We make every sound new. The driving sound, the indicator, whatever it is, everything has been composed specifically for the new MINI family,” Helmer told us. “Even by the sound of it, it’s recognizable as one of the new MINIs.”

Prominent, straight wheel arches give a powerful look to this compact SUV, which has 20-inch wheels. The large roof rack is a further nod to the car’s status as the brand’s new small SUV, and is also home to the trademark MINI touch, with the arches forming a Union Jack-like shape.

At the rear, a clean look with little clutter has been applied, where the integrated tailgate sits flush with the rear bumper bearing the MINI badge and Aceman lettering. “A MINI has to be in good standing, that’s important,” says Helmer, before hinting that a new level of personalization is at hand for MINI buyers, a group traditionally keen on personalisation.

“The customer may be able to choose between two or three different signatures,” he said, suggesting that those who don’t want the Union Jack-inspired taillight design will be able to choose something else.

The use of color is a big part of the MINI concept and the newcomer model that will follow. The Aceman Blue Pearl paint is combined with the British Racing Green roof, the car’s speaker elements are highlighted in red, and there’s also a turquoise frame and purple badge to accommodate. However, the car’s color palette is bolder inside the cabin.

In keeping with traditional MINI approach, the use of space inside the Aceman concept is clever, maximizing interior space so that the small car feels quite large inside from our early look around the car. There’s no leather or chrome inside, with different textured surfaces and iridescent metals used to create an eye-catching environment.

In addition to the unusual seat upholstery, the vehicle’s steering wheel is decorated with green velvet. But alongside the fun and modern feel, there’s a big nod to the original Mini in the form of the architecture of the dashboard and infotainment system.

“Thanks to digitalization, we are able to do that again,” Helmer says. The Aceman features a single round OLED infotainment screen in the center of the dashboard, and in concept it’s close to production-spec hardware.

Below it is a small group of switches, where the parking brake, gear selector, drive modes and volume control buttons are located, as well as a power switch that has been interpreted as a modern version of the original turnkey switch. Placing it here creates space for an adaptive center console that extends from the front area of ​​the car to the rear.

Another touch to the car is the inclusion of three “experience modes”, which sets the theme for the infotainment unit and dashboard as a whole. Switching a mode reveals that the infotainment system extends beyond the main screen, displaying across the entire dashboard.

The navigation system can occupy the entire surface, and the “shipping toy” is designed using display technology. The goal is to successfully spell the word “Aceman” across the dashboard using floating bubble letters, which are brought out of the screen and across the interface with a swipe of your finger.

Read our list of the best small electric cars on sale now…

As our news correspondent, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the automotive world, from funky quad bikes to luxury SUVs. He was previously Content Editor at DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star Award in 2022.

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