It uses a stretched version of the all-new Spotlight architecture that is being developed jointly by BMW and Chinese partner firm Great Wall and will form the basis for the next-generation electric Mini hatchback.
Although Mini says it is a pure concept, it isn’t very far from the car that will arrive in dealerships in two years’ time.
Mini has not given any clues to the likely battery sizes or potential range of the final production version of the Aceman. However, the Spotlight-based EV hatchback will come as a 181bhp Cooper with an approximately 40kWh battery and a 221bhp Cooper S with a 50kWh pack, giving a range of around 250 miles, so the production Aceman will be broadly similar.
Sources emphasise that this concept is not intended as a Countryman replacement. That model will be reborn in a third generation as a larger car with a bigger boot and be twinned with the next-generation BMW X1. The Aceman is shorter than today’s Countryman, at 4050mm long, 1990mm wide and 1590mm tall.
However, the Aceman could be seen as an indirect replacement for the Mini Clubman, which, Autocar understands, will be phased out in the middle of 2023. Sources say the departure of the Clubman will be marked by at least one special edition, recalling the original Clubman estate’s trademark side graphics. The five-door Mini hatch is also not set to get an electric successor.
The Aceman concept is the result “of a lot of research and feedback”, Mini design chief Oliver Heilmer told Autocar.
“The owners of the Mini hatch and Countryman are very happy, but they are very different people,” he said, hinting that the Aceman will target a demographic that has never owned a Mini.