Camouflaged Mini Aceman EV photographed in testing as it takes step closer to production

Will the sporty one be called "Raceman"?

The new Mini Aceman has been photographed undergoing testing ahead of its launch later this year.

Pictures released by the BMW-owned British brand show the all-new electric SUV being put through its paces in the American desert.

Having already been subjected to the cold weather north of the Arctic Circle, the upcoming crossover is now undergoing warm-weather testing in temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius.

The extreme-climate testing phase is particularly important for the new Mini.

The extreme temperatures will take their toll on the car’s battery and charging capability, and Mini is keen to make sure the performance remains within its tolerances.

First glimpse of exterior design

MINI Aceman prototype undergoing final testing

But it also gives us a chance to see the new vehicle in the wild ahead of its reveal, which is scheduled for later this year.

We already knew the Aceman would bridge the recently enlarged gap between the Mini Cooper and Mini Countryman models, both of which were revealed late last year. Now, though, Mini has confirmed the newcomer will measure just over four metres in length, putting it right between the two in size terms.

Mini has also confirmed the Aceman will get a five-door layout and five seats, as well as a 54.2kWh battery pack. Motor layouts and power outputs have not yet been confirmed, but the 215bhp electric motor from the next-generation Mini Cooper SE is expected to feature at launch. Whether a two-motor, all-wheel-drive option surfaces later remains to be seen.

Either way, Mini is promising a pure-electric range that allows for more efficient packaging — allowing the brand to fit more passenger space in a smaller footprint. The company says the car will offer “plenty of interior space with the smallest possible external dimensions, agile driving characteristics and efficiency.”

Camouflage can’t hide all the details

The images released by Mini show a lightly disguised Aceman wrapped in a kind of “dazzle” camouflage favoured by car makers to break up the lines of new models. However, close inspection of the images reveals some details of the new Aceman’s design.

MINI Aceman prototype undergoing final testing

At the front, the car will get large headlights with a ‘ring’ of daytime running LEDs. Although the shape is not in keeping with the round light designs seen since the brand was reborn under BMW’s stewardship, it is a closer match for the latest-generation Countryman model.

At the rear, meanwhile, the Aceman will get Mini’s Union Flag taillight design.

Other design features include pronounced shoulders under the window line, and a wide grille panel on the front. However, given the grille is wrapped in camouflage on the pre-production test cars in desert conditions, it seems likely the panel will be sealed and decorative, rather than offering any cooling functions.

An interior inspired by the concept

The Aceman’s interior remains secret for the time being, but it is expected to take some inspiration from the Aceman concept revealed last summer. This means we’re expecting a clean, minimalist design with a round digital display in the centre of the dashboard and a multi-function steering wheel. It seems inevitable that some of the technology will be shared with parent company BMW.

Mini has not confirmed when the Aceman launch will take place, but the brand says it’s a matter of “months” away.

As a result, there’s no indication yet of how much the car will cost, but it’s expected to be more expensive than the £30,000 charged for the new Mini Cooper Electric and cheaper than the £42,080 Countryman.

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