New electric Aceman aims to be Mini’s bestseller

At the Beijing Motor Show, Mini unveiled the Aceman, a compact crossover that skillfully bridges the gap between the smaller hatchback and the larger Countryman. Built in China exclusively as an electric model, the Aceman marks a pivot in Mini’s design ethos. With a starting price of 36,500 euros, it is eligible for the Flemish government incentive.

With the new Countryman having outgrown its predecessor’s smaller dimensions, the Aceman takes over the role as the crossover version of the Mini Cooper. According to Mini’s CEO, the new model has the potential to grow into the bestseller of the range, even though combustion-engined versions aren’t planned.

Favoring people over luggage

The Aceman’s length of 4,07 meters places it right between its stablemates and makes it smaller than a Volvo EX30 (4,4 meters). With a 300-liter boot capacity, the cabin favors the accommodation of the rear passengers over luggage. However, functionality is not entirely compromised, as folding down the 60/40-split rear seats expands the space to 1,000 liters.

The Aceman also blends the styling from the Countryman and the Cooper, as visualized by the more robust headlights in the spirit of the first, combined with softer and rounded bumpers like on the latter. A more conventional shape has replaced the triangle-formed backlights. The skidplate and roof bars point at a more adventurous angle for the drive, putting lifestyle over dynamism. Thought that’s relative as the car maker plans a sportier JCW version at a later phase.

With the big centralized OLED screen, a separate console for airconditioning functions, a head-up display, and the perfectly round steering wheel, the interior is a copy-paste operation from the Cooper Electric – the versions with combustion engines of the three-door have a marginally different dashboard.

Planned for Oxford

Like the Cooper, the Aceman is assembled in China and launched with two electric variants. The powertrains are interchangeable as this is technically a longer and higher version of the electric Mini Cooper. The entry-level E is equipped with an 184 hp front-mounted e-motor, achieving a slower 0-100 km/h in this package in 7.9 seconds and capped at the same 160 km/h top speed. It features a 42.5 kWh battery supporting a 310 km range.

On the higher end, the SE boosts performance with a 218 hp motor, reducing the 0-100 km/h sprint to 7.1 seconds and increasing the top speed to 170 km/h. It builds upon the 54.2kWh battery that promises a 406-mile range. The battery packs can be charged at 11kW, and peak DC charging is at 75 kW for the E and 95 kW for the SE, for a 0-80% charging time in 27 minutes (E) and 20 minutes (SE).

Upon the official unveiling, Mini Belgium has already released pricing. The Aceman E will cost 36,500 euros, and the SE 40,500 euros, making only the latter eligible for the subsidy scheme from the Flemish government unless you make a fruitful negotiation on the former. At a later stage, the Aceman will also be built in Oxford, which might prove key to its pricing position as the European Union is considering import tariffs on Chinese-built car models.


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