MINI Preview Electric Future With Aceman Concept

The Mini Aceman concept runs behind a brutalist office building.  The car is white with a green roof, in the classic Mini shape but with the rear pillars sloping slightly forward.Few car brands have as distinct a visual signature as the Mini. A simple silhouette immediately defines a car as a Mini. If another car company designs something similar, it will seem like a cheap trick. This should make designing a new Mini challenging – how do you update an icon without watering it?

But someone got the assignment. Mini has promised to sell nothing but electric cars by 2030. So the company needs to figure out what the electric Mini looks like. It needs a look that’s mini that’s instantly recognizable but enough to spark curiosity about what’s new.

Enter the Mini Aceman (not to be confused with the Mini Paceman).

updated silhouette

The Aceman is just a concept – a design study aimed at showing what the cars of the future might look like. But Mini calls it “the beginning of a new Mini design era” and a sign of what’s to come.

The company has not given any mechanical details other than to say that the Aceman is completely electric. So we’ll focus on aesthetics for now.

The Mini Paceman concept is parked on a concrete pad covered with tire marks.  We see it from overhead, its roof rack modeled after the flag of the UK

It updates the traditional Mini silhouette by setting the rear pillars higher than before, giving a clear separation between sheet metal and glass. But the proportions are within normal limits – 10 inches shorter than the Countryman crossover but almost identical in height and width.

The wheel wells are more angular than any older Mini.

Appreciating those changes is a matter of taste. But seeing the Mini Drift a little closer to everyone else’s designs makes us a little nervous.

Familiar UK Flag Theme

Thankfully, they fix that problem with the Union Jack. Of course, there are the usual Union Jack taillights. But the designers have added by pushing themselves A roof rack based on Her Majesty’s Navy ensign.

EVs don’t have traditional grilles (no engine to cool). The designers outlined the absence of one in an LED light strip and replaced it with a pixelated set of LEDs that can light up—we’ll give you an idea.

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The Mini Aceman concept is parked next to a set of floor-to-ceiling windows.  We see its false grille, which is made up of LED lights in the shape of a Union Jack.  A woman is walking past in the foreground, slightly out of focus.

Interior – no leather, chrome, or aesthetic restrictions

The exterior is good enough to be as reliable as a production car. But… there’s no way around it… Inside it looks like some cyberpunk clown graffiti artist is probably in trouble for this. The seats wear a riot of fabrics stitched in almost-random patterns, including hints of the tic-tac-toe game in neon colors.

The classic circular center cluster has been replaced with a circular touchscreen. It leans forward a few inches from the dash. This allowed designers to affix the projector to the back and sides of it, projecting the images taken on the rest of the dashboard like a light graffiti.

The cabin of the Mini Aceman concept.  Its seats are upholstered in several fabrics cut at odd angles, including one in blue denim and one with neon X's and O's.  Multicolored words are projected on the dashboard.

Most concept cars include refreshes that never went into production. We’re confident the security experts at Mini will fix the moving light show on the dash before it becomes a genuine product.

The total lack of chrome and leather would probably make it into production. Mini calls this “Responsible Material Design”.

The Aceman isn’t there to preview any specific production car, so we don’t expect to see it for sale. But Mini says it “puts the spotlight on the design and technological innovations Mini sees as defining the brand-specific driving pleasure of the future.” brand-specific. Because why weren’t words invented to describe a car with a green velor steering wheel?

Aismann will make its first public appearance at the Gamescom 2022 Computer and Video Game Fair next month in Germany.