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New MINI Aceman ready to inject fun into the electric crossover market

MINI’s funky Volvo EX30 rival goes on sale in June, with prices starting from £31,800

At last, the all-new all-electric MINI Aceman is here to inject a bit more fun into the compact crossover segment. Designed to fill the gap between the three-door MINI Cooper and bigger-than-ever MINI Countryman family SUV, the Aceman faces a sea of rivals, including the Volvo EX30, Jeep Avenger and Renault Megane E-Tech. Plus there’s the Ford Puma Gen-E coming later this year.

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This new family of MINIs has been designed around the idea of “charismatic simplicity”, but the Aceman borrows a few styling cues from the larger Countryman specifically. Both cars feature rhombus-shaped headlights, black A- and B-pillars to create a floating-roof effect, and almost completely vertical front ends, with octagonal grille outlines.

The smaller car is not a carbon copy however. The Aceman’s wheelarches are more boxy and pronounced, and this contributes to its more robust look, along with black plastic cladding along the sides and skid plates on the front and rear bumpers. 

The interior is centred around a circular 9.4-inch (24cm) ultra-thin OLED touchscreen that’s responsible for everything from media and navigation to climate control and vital information such as your speed. Below it sits a bank of toggle switches, one of which is for the drive modes, or MINI Experience Modes as the brand calls them.

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There are eight to choose from in the Aceman, including Core, Green, Go-Kart, Timeless and Trail, each with their own specific graphics for the central display, unique soundtracks/’Driving Sounds’ and different patterns that are projected onto the dashboard.

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity feature, along with MINI’s virtual assistant, which can control numerous functions on the car. When activated, it is represented on the screen by an avatar called ‘Spike’. MINI also wants the interior to feel “homely”, so it has used some funky materials, such as a knitted fabric, recycled polyester and its own vegan-friendly leather replacement, Vescin.

The five-seat Aceman measures just over four metres long and 1.75 metres wide, which is almost identical to Jeep’s Avenger. There’s 300 litres of boot space available – 55 less than the Avenger EV – and 1,005 litres to play with when the 60:40-split rear seats are folded down. 

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While the Aceman has more in common with the Countryman on the surface, under the metal it uses the same EV-dedicated platform as the electric MINI Cooper, and features the same battery and motor combinations.

The entry-level Aceman E has a 42.5kWh battery to power a single electric motor that produces 181bhp and 290Nm of torque. 0-62mph takes 7.9 seconds, while MINI is predicting a range of up to 192 miles. 

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The Aceman SE gets a bigger 54.2kWh battery and a more powerful 215bhp and 330Nm motor, which cuts the 0-62mph time down to 7.1 seconds, and this combination should be good for 252 miles on a single charge – not quite as far as the 296-mile range offered by some Volvo EX30s.

The Aceman E and SE have maximum charging speeds of 75kW and 90kW respectively, which MINI says will allow for a 10-80 top-up in under 30 minutes for both versions. 

MINI Aceman prices and specifications

The MINI Aceman goes on sale on 12 June and the first examples are set to arrive with customers in November. Prices will start from £31,800 for the Aceman E and £36,300 for the Aceman SE. Both versions will be offered in three trim levels: Classic, Exclusive and Sport. 

Classic comes with LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, vegan-friendly upholstery and knitted dashboard, circular OLED touchscreen, heated steering wheel, rear-view camera, cruise control and other driver-assistance tech like blind-spot detection and cross-traffic warning.

Aceman SE models in the same specification also benefit from the ‘Level One’ pack, which includes a head-up display, a wireless charging pad, heated front seats, keyless entry and customisable front and rear light signatures.

Exclusive trim opens up more opportunity for customisation, with six exterior paint colours, four roof colours and two interior colour schemes to pick from. 18-inch rims are also added, along with a dark headliner and decorative dashboard strap.

Finally, Sport trim adds a racier look, courtesy of new front and rear bumpers, a rear spoiler with airblades, high-gloss hexagonal patterned grille and some JCW badging, plus upgraded sport brakes.

The Level Two options pack adds a panoramic sunroof, sun-protection glazing and a Harman Kardon sound system, while Level Three goes piles on more driver-assistance features, plus an augmented-reality navigation system and massage functionality on the driver’s seat.

Click here for our list of the best electric SUVs...

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News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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