A new trademark filing has us asking questions.
Mini recently announced plans to go all-electric by the early 2030s, introducing a final combustion-engined car in 2025. It's unclear how this move will influence Mini's existing model lineup, which currently includes the Cooper Hardtop, Convertible, Clubman, and Countryman. According to a recent filing with the German trademark office (DPMA), Mini could be planning to revive a nameplate from its recent history. Well, sort of.
CarBuzz recently spotted a filing from BMW (Mini's parent company) for the name "Aceman" on April 4, 2021. You may recall that Mini used to sell a small crossover called the Paceman, which was essentially a Countryman with only two doors.
So, did a BMW employee make a typo when filling for the trademark? Or is this truly a new upcoming Mini model? The answer is still very uncertain but we suspect this could be a brand-new vehicle. Mini discontinued the Paceman several years ago, as two-door SUVs rarely sell well in any market. We highly doubt that the Aceman will be another two-door SUV, but perhaps it could be the Mini sedan model that's been rumored for years.
It seems more likely that the Aceman will be one of the brand's upcoming electric vehicles. The 2022 Mini Cooper SE is currently the only electric model in Mini's lineup, but we expect that to change soon.
We've spotted Mini testing the prototype for its next-generation EV, which could be used to underpin the Aceman. Our best guess points to an electric SUV based on the next-generation Countryman, with coupe-like styling in the same vein as the BMW X6. Though the two-door SUV trend never took off, BMW has seen sales success with its SUV coupe models like the X4 and X6. We aren't sure why Mini would go through the trouble to create a new name so similar to Paceman, but perhaps it will make more sense in the future.