MINI has not one but two crossovers coming up. Debuting later this year will be the next-generation Countryman, which will be offered for the first time as a purely electric vehicle. The Oxford-based automaker is simultaneously working on a production version of the Aceman, as previewed last year by a namesake concept. A camouflaged prototype has been spotted in chilly northern Europe undergoing testing, which also involved briefly sliding on snow during cornering.
The Aceman is scheduled to come out in 2024 and is believed to supersede the oddball six-door Clubman. It’s easy to see it won’t change all that much compared to the concept, which was already quite close to how the subcompact MINI crossover is expected to look at the dealership. The camouflaged vehicle appears to be hiding the full production body and final headlights and taillights. One change we’re able to notice is the side mirror, now larger for greater visibility.
To get an idea about its size, the concept was just about as long and tall as the first-generation Countryman. The two models won’t clash since MINI intends to make the third-gen Countryman a lot bigger, in keeping with the mechanically related 4.5-meter BMW X1 (U1). As a refresher, the Aceman concept was 4.05 meters (159.4 inches) long, 1.99 meters (78.3 inches) wide, and 1.59 meters (62.5 inches) tall.
While the Countryman will be produced by BMW in Leipzig, Germany, the Aceman is going to be assembled in China by Spotlight Automotive. It’s a joint venture between the BMW Group and Great Wall Motors, which is also going to manufacture the next Cooper SE due later in 2023. In some ways, the Aceman will serve as an indirect replacement for the i3 hatchback by offering a spacious cabin in a small package.
MINI reportedly intends to sell the Aceman with an electric motor producing around 180 horsepower and a 40-kWh battery rated at 200 miles (322 kilometers). Pay more and a higher-end model is rumored to offer 215 hp and 250 miles (402 kilometers) of range from a bigger 50-kWh pack. Unlike the Countryman coming with combustion engines and an electric drivetrain, the smaller crossover will be EV-only.
Source: CarSpyMedia / YouTube