The official sighting of our second Mini Aceman prototype takes us to Germany. Traffic is a bit heavy around Munich when our spy photographer is traveling. As a result, we have several detailed images of the camouflage-clad test vehicle.
The wrap is identical to the appearance of our first Aceman prototype, only this time the little crossover isn’t tucked into the automatic. We get a better sense of size here, but don’t think this is just an electric Countryman. It’s actually quite a bit smaller, with sources telling us it could replace the Clubman in the Mini lineup. That will leave room for the Countryman to continue with internal combustion power, while the Aceman offers a spacious EV for Mini fans.
And it’s supposed to be very wide inside. Without consideration for the engine, transmission, exhaust system or fuel tank, the Aceman will offer more space for passengers compared to the larger Countryman. Underneath the familiar Mini style will be a special electric platform jointly developed with Chinese manufacturer Great Wall. This is the same platform used for the smaller Mini hatchback, though stretched out for duty in the Aceman.
We’ve already got a taste of how the production version will look like. The Aceman concept debuts in July 2022, sporting a familiar but different Mini face with a rugged grille and angular headlamps. We can actually see the headlights on this prototype, pointing inward with five sides visible. The oval-shaped trim around the lights is just a red herring designed to confuse the casual observer. BMW-style doorknobs are visible along the sides, and Union Jack taillights are visible at the rear. After all, it’s a Mini.
We haven’t had a great look inside Aceman yet. The concept features a minimalistic layout with a large round screen in the center and a projection system that can illuminate the entire dashboard with information. It’s unlikely we’ll see a projector in a production-spec Aceman, but the circular screen in the center is certainly a possibility.
At this point, we can wait a long time to know for sure. We hear the Aceman won’t debut until 2024, though that could be a reference to the model year. If that’s the case, the cover could come off next year.
Meanwhile, check Rambling About Cars podcast for the latest news on EVs, performance cars and more.