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Design Exhibition: Mini Aceman Ideas

Of all the foreign acquisitions of traditional British brands, it is hard to argue that BMW’s acquisition of Mini at the beginning of the new millennium was a success.

The German automaker has successfully reinvented its UK subsidiary from a manufacturer of functional but outdated vehicles, into a luxury urban lifestyle and fashion brand.

One of the reasons why Mini achieves this is by continually building brand value through a consistent, iconic design language.

Icons can be identified by a distinctive silhouette, and the Mini – similar to Porsche – has adopted a set of core design elements that have evolved throughout the model range, so that the viewer has a can easily recognize a Mini even if they may not know the specific model or variant.

The Aceman concept car has just been revealed previews a new generation of Minis designed from the ground up (rather than adapted from igniters) to run on electricity, and thus give us a hint on how the basic Mini design principles could translate deliver.

It is expected that a weight loss version of Aceman will be put into production in the near future.

First, what makes a Mini?

All modern Minis have a common set of design elements based on the classic 1959 Morris Mini, while introducing some modern decor.

The basic basis of a Mini is its proportions, and all Minis sold today retain the classic hatch’s ‘wheel in every corner’ stance, with overhangs front and rear. after the minimum.

Another distinguishing feature of the classic Mini is a strong waistline that runs almost parallel to the roofline, combined with a boxy side profile with a distinct bonnet and cabin.

The exterior design of the classic Mini is noted for its distinctive round headlights and slim vertical taillights.

Today’s Minis continue with the same two-box look as the original, and place more emphasis on the roofline and waistline through the use of blacked-out A, B and C pillars to create a design. ‘floating’ roof.

The roofline on newer models is also slightly tilted towards the waist, creating a sportier look, giving the impression of a car that is ready and ready to go.

Most models in the current lineup also retain the circular headlights and vertical taillight design, with the exception of the latest Clubman model, which uses a horizontal layout.

One of the main areas that comes out between classic and contemporary Minis is the interior. Sir Alec Issigonis designed the original Mini as an affordable and functional vehicle, and accordingly the interior has been stripped to the essentials – no more than the central circular speedometer of the car. Smiths and a set of toggle switches below.

The current Mini lineup has amplified these circular motifs to the extreme to create a slightly more aggressive and upscale interior.

Wrapped in much richer leather, models in the current range focus on a large circular dome for the infotainment system and use an ovoid or circular design for features such as around the vents. steam, door trim tags and even door handles.

“Attractive Simplicity”: How Is the Aceman Concept Related?

The “Simplistic” design philosophy behind the Aceman can best be summed up by Mini Design Director Oliver Heilmer, who notes that:

“The fully electric vehicle concept means that the design can once again align more with the traditional fundamental values ​​of the Mini, in principle using the space creatively.”

This means that the next generation of Minis, as previewed by the Aceman concept, will drop some of the colorful and nostalgic futuristic design elements currently present (especially in the interior) and focus more on simplifying key elements while emphasizing practicality.

At 4.05 meters long, the Aceman retains the compact proportions and wheel posture at every corner of the current and classic Mini series.

Although built from the ground up like an electric car, the two-box shape has also been preserved, with the A, B and C pillars painted in black ensuring that the design continues to emphasize the strong waistline and slightly roofline. slope.

The Aceman offers a more geometric interpretation of other elements of the Mini design, with the brand’s signature round headlights being replaced by a more angular alternative and a more pixelated variation of the lamp layout. The Union Jack LED rear is the hallmark of the current lineup.

The interior is perhaps where the most significant advances have been made.

The classic Mini has one tool, the speedometer, mounted in the center of the interior. Despite the larger tech orders, Aceman aims to create a modernized version of it using a single circular OLED display that integrates all the software-based functions that use it. Android Open Source Platform (AOSP), along with a set of physical toggle switches.

All other redundant chrome and circular textures have been removed for a much simplified panel with emphasis on width and gentle curves.

Mini has committed to making cars more sustainable, and in addition to its promise to only sell electric vehicles by 2030, it has also stated that it has a goal of phasing out the use of leather in upcoming models. mine.

The Aceman marks the first leap in this direction, proof that the Mini will drop the leather without sacrificing the premium feel this material usually carries.

The soft knitted surfaces have many outstanding features, with the dashboard covered in this material, while the steering wheel uses velvet fabric to feel particularly comfortable to the touch.

Meanwhile, fabric is also used on the seats, which Mini claims uses “a combination of flat knits, velvet and waffle weave, and over-dimensional houndstooth motifs” to create a three-dimensional look.

The overall effect draws from the Scandinavian living room feel of the revolutionary BMW i3 to create a peaceful, homely and spacious atmosphere, further supported by the use of contrasting colors to create brighter feeling.

What will make production?

Mini claims that the Aceman concept is 80% correct to the final production design. On the exterior, this means that while the overall shape, size and proportions are realistic, some details will vary for vehicles on the road.

This can include the Union Jack roof rack, contrasting orange details on the lower front bumper, as well as illuminated Union Jack front grille and headlamp graphics.

On the inside, the elements most likely to produce are the OLED infotainment screen and toggle switches below, with spy shots of The next generation of Mini Cooper hatch confirm a similar production arrangement.

It’s also possible that some material selection might be available as an option, perhaps in a cleaner format. For example, it is difficult to see a velvet steering wheel pass the durability tests in its current form.

THAN: Concept model Aceman EV Mini Concept revealed

Digging design pieces this weekend? More can be found here:

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THAN: Design Exhibition – Kia Sportage
THAN: Design Show – Volkswagen Golf CHEAP
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THAN: Design Show – Mercedes-AMG GLE63 WILL

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