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Motoring Extra

Another MINI ace is revealed


The new MINI Aceman bridges the gap between Cooper and Countryman.

The new MINI Aceman bridges the gap between Cooper and Countryman.

The new MINI Aceman bridges the gap between Cooper and Countryman.

There seems to be no limit to the variations in the MINI brand which six decades on is still re-inventing itself.

The latest is the MINI Concept Aceman, an initial design preview of its future model generation which puts the spotlight on the design and technological innovations MINI sees as defining the brand of the future.

An all-electric drive, the charismatic simplicity clear and reduced design language, a new digital interior experience and a responsible material design with absolutely no leather or chrome elements – the MINI fuses these attributes together with the concept of its very first crossover model for the premium small car segment.

In the next model generation the MINI Cooper in the iconic three-door body shape, which has been reinterpreted time and again over its entire 60-plus-year history, will be joined by a crossover model for the first time.

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‘The MINI Concept Aceman provides an initial glimpse of a completely new vehicle, bridging the space between the MINI Cooper and the MINI Countryman in the model family’s future,’ says Stefanie Wurst, Head of the MINI Brand.

‘This concept car reflects how MINI is reinventing itself for its all-electric future and what the brand stands for: an electrified go-kart feel, an immersive digital experience and a strong focus on a minimal environmental footprint.’

Along with the clear and reduced exterior and interior design, the holistic user experience of light, movement, interaction and sound also combine to define this style. Surfaces constructed from knitted recycled textile with fresh colour contrasts combine with seamless digital controls, with a new OLED display as the central interface. This all creates a unique interior experience that remains unmistakably MINI. The all-electric models of the next generation are also given an independent sound design for the first time, providing emotionally compelling drive sounds and an authentic background for the new Experience Modes.

Everything about the appearance of MINI Concept Aceman expresses agility and a self-confident presence. This merges distinctive features of the brand’s two most successful models, the MINI Hatch and the MINI Countryman, to create a modern interpretation of a crossover model.

‘The purely electric vehicle concept means the design can again be geared more towards MINI’s traditional basic values, in terms of the principle of using space creatively,’ says Oliver Heilmer, Head of MINI Design. ‘This creates models that take up little space on the road while offering even more comfort, more versatility and more emotion on the inside than ever before.’

A functional two-box design with short overhangs creates the maximum amount of space for occupants and luggage, with minimal surface area. The MINI Concept Aceman has four doors and a large boot lid with interior seating for five.

The upright front of the MINI Concept Aceman has a striking presence. The brand’s iconic design features have been reinterpreted to reflect its crossover characteristics and all- electric drive. The radiator grille element at the centre of the vehicle front is surrounded by clear surfaces and the traditionally hexagonal outline has been further refined into an octagonal contour.

The new design is accentuated by an illuminated surround.

The central grille element of the MINI Concept Aceman is completely closed. Matrix LED units are integrated in its upper section to create impressive lighting effects to welcome its occupants.

The concept car’s first public appearance will be at gamescom 2022 in Cologne later this month.

Electrics buck downturn in car sales

New car registrations for July were down 17.3% (21,902) when compared to July 2021 (26,477), while year to date registrations are down 3.6% (87,075) on the same period last year (90,330). Electric sales, however, bucked the downward trend.

Light Commercials vehicles (LCV) are down 14.8% (4,039) compared to July last year (4,740) and year to date are down 21.4% (17,100). HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) registrations are down 1.6% (317) in comparison to July 2021 (322). Year to date HGV’s are down 9.4% (1,675).

Used car imports for July (4,206) have seen a decrease of 21.3% on July 2021 (5,344). Year to date imports are down 31.1% (28,316) on 2021 (41,097). For July 2,738 new electric vehicles were registered compared to 1,895 in July 2021. So far this year 11,182 new electric cars have been registered compared to 6,225 on the same period 2021.

Electric Vehicle, Plug-in Hybrids and Hybrids continue to increase their market share, with a combined market share of 40.9%. Petrol continues to dominate with 29.29%, Diesel 27.51%, Hybrid 21.23%, Electric 12.84% and Plug-in Hybrid 6.83%.