Two weeks ago, Mini confirmed that there will be a limited series of electric convertibles to conclude the current generation. The 999 vehicles at the stately price of 60,000 euros will be sold out quickly, because Mini is different – and so are its disciples. The BMW offshoot from Oxford has experienced some confusion and confusion in recent years. Sometimes the portfolio should be expanded to up to ten vehicles, sometimes they tinkered with trendy lofts in New York and dreamed of selling 500,000 or more vehicles a year. The reality was mostly a little different and the dreams of turning the British BMW offshoot into a complete electric brand based on the Smart model in the short term have also not survived too much, because Mini will only become completely electric at the turn of the decade. In the future, Mini will no longer sail alone under the blue and white rotor blade, but with the active support of the Chinese car manufacturer Great Wall Motor.
Unlike Smart, whose top management is now made up of half Daimler and Geely managers, Spotlight, the name of the cooperation between Mini and Great Wall, has only Mini and BMW in charge. Great Wall acts primarily as a development and production partner. In addition to production in Oxford, UK, two models will initially be manufactured in China and exported from there to the whole world based on the BMW iX3. The core model remains the 3.86 meter long Mini Hatch, which will be called Mini Cooper in the future and will be available with 135 kW / 184 hp and 160 kW / 218 hp. Above that are two crossovers, the smaller, 4.08 meter long Aceman in the dimensions of the first Countryman generation and the new Countryman, which is 4.43 meters long and will follow in the footsteps of the BMW iX1. Surprise: only the large SUV, which will celebrate its premiere together with the Cooper at the IAA in September 2023, will be available as an all-wheel drive version. While the front-wheel drive delivers 140 kW / 190 hp, the all-wheel drive offers 200 kW / 272 hp and a maximum range of 420 kilometers.
The smaller Aceman remains a front-wheel drive. While the Mini Cooper and the larger Countryman are offered as combustion and electric models, the Aceman remains an electric model with 130 or 160 kilowatts. "The Mini Concept Aceman provides a glimpse of a completely new vehicle that will occupy the position between the Mini Cooper and the Mini Countryman in the future model family," says MINI brand boss Stefanie Wurst. "This concept vehicle reflects how Mini is moving in the direction of of a fully electric future and what the brand stands for: an electrified go-kart feeling, an immersive digital experience and a strong focus on a minimal ecological footprint.”
The Mini Aceman could become the new bestseller in the small portfolio. "The purely electric vehicle concept makes it possible to direct the design more towards the traditional basic values of Mini in the sense of the principle of creative use of space," says Mini chief designer Oliver Heilmer, "this results in models that take up little space on the road and at the same time offer more comfort, more versatility and more emotions than ever before.” Mini fans have to say goodbye to leather seats. While these were very popular with the mostly elegantly equipped models, Mini no longer gives its customers a choice. You bed yourself alone on plastic and look at the chartakter, but not always ergonomically perfect center display - fixed round in the middle of the dashboard.
The drives for the Aceman are the same as for the electric models of the Mini Cooper. The battery packs have sizes of 40 and 54 kWh, which would enable ranges of between 300 and 400 kilometers without a charging stop. An open-top Mini Cooper Convertible of the new generation complements the Mini Hatch, as does a five-door model. On the other hand, the micro-mini, which has been discussed for many years, should not get a chance, which received a lot of attention with the study of the Rocketman and plug-in hybrids have also had their day. The equipment structure should also be significantly streamlined. As recently introduced with the electric Mini, there is no longer maximum customization with low volumes and moderate profit margins, but individual packages and the popular special models.