First look at new Mini Aceman ahead of April debut

The dashboard is dominated by Mini’s new round touchscreen, which is claimed to be the first circular OLED touch interface to appear in production cars. It is used for most functions, but the trademark row of toggle switches remains below the infotainment and the steering wheel retains buttons for media, drive modes and cruise control.

The concept’s knitted-textile dashboard will make it into the production Aceman, in line with a rethink on materials that also phases out the use of chrome and leather for new-generation Minis.

Deliveries of the Aceman will begin by the end of the year, with cars initially coming from a factory in China. However, from 2026, Aceman production for Europe will move to the historic Oxford plant, thanks to a £600 million investment from BMW. The funding, supported by the UK government, safeguards 4000 jobs.

Head of Mini Stefanie Wurst said: “To people in the UK, I can still see that Mini is regarded as your baby, because it was born there and has been there for a long time. We still call Oxford the heart of our brand. I hope and I think we will take good care of it.

“Mini has a very strong heritage, and that is being modernised and given a future now, and I hope that aspect is felt in the UK as well.”

Pricing is expected to represent a slight premium over the Cooper, at around £32,000. That would still undercut crucial competitors such as the Jeep Avenger and Volvo EX30 – although each of those cars offers a longer range than is expected from the Aceman.

The trim line-up will mirror that of the Cooper, with Classic, Exclusive and Sport specifications.

The Aceman is anticipated to become Mini’s best-seller because, as Wurst noted, “you can buy it for your first car, or have it as your only car”. 

She added: “I think this car has the biggest potential. It is the one with the hottest ‘newness’ aspect.”

Opinion: Is the Aceman likely to succeed?

James Attwood

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