Mini is preparing to round off its line-up of three all-new core models later this year with the Aceman crossover, which will be unveiled at the Auto China show on 24 April.
The Aceman will share much of its mechanical make-up with the new Cooper, using a stretched version of the supermini’s Spotlight architecture. Billed as the Mini with the broadest appeal, it is 192mm longer, 23mm wider and 130mm taller than the Cooper.
Power will come from a single electric motor at the front axle, with outputs of either 181bhp or 215bhp. The entry-level offering is capable of sending the Cooper from 0-62mph in 7.3sec, while the more powerful motor reduces this to 6.7sec. The Aceman will be able to achieve broadly similar sprint times.
As with the Cooper, two battery packs will be offered, with capacities corresponding to the motor’s output: the 181bhp car will have a 40kWh pack and the 215bhp model will receive a 54kWh unit. In the Cooper, these yield official WLTP ranges of 188 miles and 248 miles respectively.
The most powerful car will follow the Cooper and Countryman EVs in gaining a performance-themed JCW (formerly John Cooper Works) range-topper, and although there will be no changes to the powertrain, Mini product line boss Stefan Floeck recently outlined to Autocar how the brand plans to differentiate its hot EVs.
He said: “The most important thing when it’s a front-driven car is that on one side you have a big benefit, because the centre of gravity is lower because you have the battery in the bottom.
“You also have a good balance, with the weight balance in the front and back of the cars. So the genes – a low centre of gravity and 50:50 weight balance – is better for driving dynamics.
“On the other side, you have a bit higher weight. So to deal with the higher weight, it’s a question of tyres for driving dynamics, so we will put different tyres on the car to handle this, which are a bigger diameter.