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The new MINI family is taking shape. The British brand presents the MINI Concept Aceman, an initial preview of its future model generation’s new design. In this concept car, we can see design-based and technological innovations from MINI that outline the brand-typical driving pleasure of the future. The first MINI crossover model for the premium small cars segment is striking, with purely electric drive, a clear and pared-back design language that has been dubbed “Charismatic Simplicity,” a new digital interior space experience, and a material concept that uses absolutely no leather or chrome.
In the next model generation, the MINI Cooper in the iconic three-door body shape, which has been reinterpreted time and again over its entire 60-plus-year history, will be joined by a crossover model for the first time. “The MINI Concept Aceman provides an initial glimpse of a completely new vehicle, bridging the space between the MINI Cooper and the MINI Countryman in the model family’s future,” says Stefanie Wurst, Head of the MINI Brand. “This concept car reflects how MINI is reinventing itself for its all-electric future and what the brand stands for: an electrified go-kart feel, an immersive digital experience, and a strong focus on a minimal environmental footprint.”
“The design language of the MINI Concept Aceman heralds the beginning of a new design era for MINI,” explains Adrian van Hooydonk, Head of BMW Group Design. Design features typical of the MINI brand have always been unmistakable, Hooydonk goes on to say. “We are returning to these now. But at the same time consistently combining their innovative technology.” With this approach, we are redeveloping the MINI design icons, with all their analog strengths, for the digital future.
The new concept has a clear and reduced exterior and interior design. The holistic user experience of light, movement, interaction, and sound combine to define this style. Manufacturers recycle textiles with a fresh color contrast for surfaces. That combines seamless digital controls with a new OLED display as the central interface. This all creates a unique interior experience that remains unmistakably MINI. The all-electric models of the next generation also have an independent sound design. It provides emotionally compelling drive sounds and an authentic background for the new Experience Modes.
Everything about the appearance of MINI Concept Aceman expresses agility and a self-confident presence. This merges distinctive features of the brand’s two most successful models: the MINI Cooper and the MINI Countryman. It creates a modern interpretation of a crossover model.
“The purely electric vehicle concept means the design can again be geared more towards MINI’s traditional basic values, in terms of the principle of using space creatively,” says Oliver Heilmer, Head of MINI Design. “This creates models that take up little space on the road while offering even more comfort, more versatility and more emotion on the inside than ever before.”
A functional two-box design with short overhangs creates the maximum space for occupants and luggage on a minimal surface area. The MINI Concept Aceman has four doors and a large boot lid with interior seating for five.
It also has the proportions you would expect of the brand. For instance, an exterior length of 4.05 meters, a width of 1.99 meters, and a height of 1.59 meters. All in a particularly contemporary form. The classic three-way body division, all-around window graphics, and the roof are new. A flush transition between the vehicle body and glass surfaces makes the most of the aerodynamic properties. Moreover, the clear and reduced design of the MINI Concept Aceman completely dispenses with the chrome trim around the edges. It was common in earlier model generations. Wide surrounds on the lower edge of the body, strongly contoured wheel arches, large wheels, and a striking roof rack. Plus, front and rear valance panels are underride protection. In addition, they emphasize the solid all-round characteristics of a crossover model for urban driving fun.
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