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MINI unveils all-electric Aceman crossover. Image by MINI.

MINI unveils all-electric Aceman crossover
Smaller than a Countryman, bigger than a Cooper, and capable of up to 250 miles on a single charge.
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What's all this about?

Since it launched in 2010, across three generations the MINI Countryman has been steadily getting bigger and bigger, which has kind of vacated a hole in the model range below it for something high-riding, but maybe a little more compact. So into that breach steps this, the all-new Aceman.

Aah, MINI is reviving another old nameplate, eh?

Er, no. You're probably thinking of the Paceman there, but note the lack of a 'P' in the new model's name. And, as is seemingly de rigueur these days, the Aceman is a pure-electric vehicle. MINI says it is the "first crossover model for the premium small car segment", although we reckon the Audi Q2 or even the A1 Citycarver might have something to say about that.

So just how small is the Aceman?

Designed to fit in between the incoming new Cooper hatch models and the aforementioned Countryman, the Aceman is said to be 4.07 metres long, 1.75m wide and 1.5m tall. Despite this compact external footprint, MINI is claiming it's a true five-seater inside, while the boot kicks off at 300 litres and rises to 1,005 litres if you fold the second row of chairs away.

Its design, inside and out, is based on the company's current ethos of 'Charismatic Simplicity'. Like the Countryman, the Aceman has slightly more angular detailing than the Cooper, such as the non-circular LED daytime running light signatures, the octagonal radiator grille and the squared-off wheelarches. Roof rails are fitted as standard to all models to emphasise their lifestyle outlook, the (aerodynamically optimised) alloy wheel sizes range from 17 to 19 inches in diameter, and those LED lamp clusters at the rear can be configured through three different designs.

Inside, the Aceman borrows the current 9.4-inch central round OLED touchscreen infotainment system as seen in the marque's other products, which leads to a minimalistic fascia appearance and a fabric-covered dashboard. Below the screen is the 'Toggle Bar', which houses various key functions, and there are further premium features such as a panoramic roof, ambient interior lighting, and the MINI Experience Modes which change the way the car drives and feels inside. Connectivity is handled by a voice assistant and MINI's digital Avatar, Spike the dog.

OK, so what about motive power?

Two forms of electric propulsion are available, starting with the 135kW (184hp) MINI Aceman E, while the more potent Aceman SE has 160kW (218hp) instead. Torque for these two stands at 290- and 330Nm respectively, which means the E can do 0-62mph in 7.9 seconds and go on to a 99mph top speed, while the SE trims the sprint to 7.1 seconds and also possesses a marginally higher 106mph V-max.

There's also a difference in battery size, as the Aceman E uses a smaller 42.5kWh unit, while the Aceman SE enjoys a 54.2kWh power pack. This results in a WLTP one-shot driving range of up to 193 miles for the former, but 252 miles for the latter. Energy consumption quoted is about the same for both MINI crossovers, in the 14-15kWh/62.1 miles ballpark (anything from 4.1- to 4.4 miles/kWh).

MINI says it has done much to the dampers, suspension and steering to make the Aceman as agile to drive as any self-respecting model from this company should be, although at no point has the company confirmed the kerb weight of these electric vehicles. And, on that note, charging speeds are 11kW AC across both models, or 75kW DC for the Aceman E and 95kW for the Aceman SE. Either way, at their fastest hook-up, the MINIs' battery packs should go from 10 to 80 per cent charge in less than half-an-hour.

Sounds intriguing. Do you have any prices or further info as yet?

UK prices and trim grades have yet to be confirmed, but as the larger Countryman EVs start from around £42,000 for the single-motor version, we'd expect the Aceman to be in the £30,000-£40,000 bracket, most likely.

Final word, then, to Stefanie Wurst, head of MINI, who said: "The MINI Aceman brings a new level of excitement to our all-electric line-up, packed with a truly enjoyable immersive digital experience. The Aceman is perfect for navigating crowded city streets, while maintaining the versatility and functionality of a crossover and the go-kart feeling you can expect from a MINI. I am certain that the sleek design, the performance and the versatility as a five-seater crossover will make the MINI Aceman a resounding success."

Matt Robinson - 24 Apr 2024

2024 MINI Aceman. Image by MINI.2024 MINI Aceman. Image by MINI.2024 MINI Aceman. Image by MINI.2024 MINI Aceman. Image by MINI.2024 MINI Aceman. Image by MINI.

2024 MINI Aceman. Image by MINI.2024 MINI Aceman. Image by MINI.2024 MINI Aceman. Image by MINI.2024 MINI Aceman. Image by MINI.2024 MINI Aceman. Image by MINI.    - MINI road tests
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