Another piece of Mini’s future product puzzle is falling into place.
The electric Aceman SUV, which will sit between the traditional Mini hatch and the larger Countryman in the range, has been snapped testing on Munich roads ahead of its launch in 2023.
Under the skin, the Aceman is expected to ride on the same platform as the new, electric Mini hatch. Co-developed with Great Wall Motor (GWM), the underpinnings will be stretched relative to those under the hatchback to support the 4.0-ish metre long Aceman.
Based on these spy photos, the Aceman will look… exactly how we expected. Up front, there are slightly more angular headlights than on the current model, while the pert rear end features an evolution of the current tail lights.
A prototype electric Mini 3-Door Hatch and the Aceman concept (both below) offer a more concrete look at how the detailing on the Aceman will likely shape up.
Although it’s electric, even this prototype features what looks like a bonnet scoop (or iPhone dock) on its bonnet.
When it launches, the Aceman will be built in China as part of BMW’s joint venture with Great Wall Motor.
Production of the replacement for the current Mini Electric 3-Door will also be moved to China, while the upcoming Mini Countryman EV will be built alongside its BMW X1 cousin in Leipzig, Germany.
A version of the current petrol-powered 3-Door Hatch will also live on, albeit in heavily-updated form.
A report for The Times revealed the production of electric vehicles at the Cowley plant in Oxford, UK, will end in 2023.
Manufacturing will continue in Oxford, however. Mini has confirmed it’ll keep building internal-combustion models in the UK, and has previously said petrol power will live on in its range until 2030.
“Oxford will always be the home of Mini,” a spokesperson told The Times. The spokesperson said electric Minis built in the UK would need to be made on an assembly line developed by GWM, in place of the existing production lines.
“Oxford is not geared up for electric vehicles,” the spokesperson said. “It will need renovation and investment.”
The Times reports the spokesperson provided “no date” for EV manufacturing to return the UK.