The Mini Concept Aceman EV is a sign of good things to come

Mini Concept Aceman Crossover top

What does the Mini brand remind you of? Mr Bean’s cult-green 1977 Mini that’s fabulously dumb, or the super cool JCW Coopers that are extremely fun to drive, or custom jobs pushed with Hayabusa engines to challenge V8 Mustangs. But this image is fading, and we can give you ten reasons for that, including the design issues, the perceived image, and ironically, its increasing size.

The Germans and the British are not happy with this and, together with the electrification strategy, want to completely review the appeal of the Mini. They have unveiled the Aceman Crossover EV Concept who will carry the baton for the future of mini as icon. Purely electric, the Aceman features a new two-bin design with shorter overhangs to create more interior space for occupants. It’s a real crossover. Frankly, it will be a mammoth task to lure Americans away from SUVs. However, Minis always have a lot of character charming enough to knock you off your high SUV horse.

Related: 8 Things to Know Before Buying the 2022 Mini Cooper S

The Aceman looks more compact despite being a crossover

There is no denying that it is strikingly beautiful to look at. The simplicity of the compact housing is a testament to six decades of minimalism design philosophy. Mini Aceman Crossover Concept EV Designers have gone to great lengths to minimize the complications of the body line, reminiscent of recent Mini models. The electrification of the power plant allows them to minimize the gaping air intakes to cool the various engine components and reverse the design polarity to its heritage.

The concept is 4.05m long, 1.99m wide and 1.59m high, making it shorter and wider than the Countryman. The funky color palette makes it seem even smaller, which is kind of the point of the whole exercise. Those elongated details, the door handles, door mirrors, rear bumpers and the lower door section are beautiful. The rear in particular is way too plain and could have been sharper, to be honest. But the 20-inch lightweight alloy wheels certainly convey a powerful image. I’m not so sure about that very detailed roof rack though. We know it’s a crossover, but you’re not going to be driving that roof rack around your Mini, are you?

The Aceman interior defines simplicity

The interior design of the Aceman Concept EV is at odds with what the current generation Mini has. Everything intricate about the Mini interior has been simplified, literally to the essentials. It even has soft knit textile surfaces that will supposedly give it a homely environment, good luck keeping that clean. Now don’t be alarmed that the essentials mean the list of features has been truncated as well. It has a large OLED display as its centerpiece that contains all the necessary functions, allowing technicians to do away with physical buttons. This OLED display has the latest Mini OS built on an Android Open Source Project (AOSP), which means that the application package will be expanded with the ability to add new functions. The fancy switches have been redesigned for critical functions such as the parking brake, drive selector, experience modes and audio controls.

Related: It’s All About the Muscle: 500-HP Mini Cooper vs. 1,000-HP Dodge Charger Hellcat

Express your style with new experience modes

Customization is a great tool for self-expression, and the new software configuration in the Mini Aceman Concept offers a wide range of possibilities. In personal mode, for example, you can transfer an image to the OLED screen and complement it with projections of clouds, or waves, or a swimming pool if you prefer, and a soundtrack to match. Yes, this means you can be more creative with your display and sound system while driving. They’ve even made charging interesting with Vivid mode. There are ‘Aceman’ letter bubbles that can be moved around the dashboard like smooth graphics. This beautiful piece of artwork with colors is also reflected in the Aceman’s headlights. Your approach to the car is followed by a cloud of light that brightens the closer you get, and the LED matrix in the grille of the right headlamps winks at you. The coolness and the cuteness have no end to this thing.

This radical new shift in next-generation Mini design theory could be the missing link needed to entice American buyers eager to make a style statement. Specifications are not yet known, but the Aceman will likely have a 181 horsepower electric motor with a range of less than 250 miles. Hopefully this reach figure will improve, gosh. But we are on board with Mini on the new design philosophy. It’s funky, adaptable and much more likeable than the performance-oriented Coopers of recent times. Yes, you could buy an SUV instead of the Aceman, but you’ll never get over this winking kaleidoscope of coolness that’s a technological spaceship under the skin. The Aceman is making its first official outing Gamescom scheduled for August 2022 in Cologne. It’s going to be a great reveal surrounded by retro games and funky cosplay.