It has five seats rather than the Cooper’s four and puts a more overt focus on practicality. For example, there is a wider aperture between the front seats than in the Cooper, intended to allow occupants to stow a small bag.
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.