Concept cars try to project a vision of future travel that's just as relaxing and fun as kicking back inside of your own living room. Everyone would be a passenger with the freedom to engage with other people inside of the vehicle, watch immersive videos, or even play games. Of course, all of that hinges on having a perfect self-driving system that can navigate all kinds of roads and conditions safely and efficiently. We're still far from that ideal, but it doesn't mean we can't start injecting a bit of fun into the cars of the very near future. At Gamescom, Mini seems to be stepping up to the challenge with a special version of its Concept Aceman EV designed around one of the most adorable rodents in gaming history.
Unveiled just last month, the Mini Aceman concept crossover showcased the carmaker's new design language, as well as representing its intention to go all-electric by 2030. As its first electric crossover, the Aceman was designed with a vision of how Mini's future cars will not only look but also how they will be made. Specifically, the car was designed to reduce the resources used in its production, especially unsustainable materials like leather and chrome.
What makes the Mini Aceman really unique can be found in its fabric-covered interior surfaces, which are made from knitted recycled textiles. These surfaces become a perfect canvas for Aceman's built-in ceiling projector, which can overlay images and information on the fabric, turning it into a makeshift projector screen. Mini is taking this feature to the next level by teaming up with The Pokemon Company to turn the Aceman into an electrifying entertainment experience.
Pikachu, I choose you!
The custom Mini Aceman concept introduces a Pokemon mode that puts Pikachu front and center, literally. Once activated, the rodent (yes, it's actually a mouse) takes over the car's main display, turning it into a lively representation of your vehicle's stats. The in-cabin projector then overlays images of lightning bolts to represent the Pokemon's element, which feels like a perfect fit for an all-electric vehicle like the Aceman.
There is, however, one other thing that makes this particular version of the concept different from the one unveiled in July. More than just how the interior can be themed to match Pikachu and its environment, the Pokemon Aceman concept adds an exterior projector that you can use to watch or rewatch Pokemon shows — presuming, of course, that you have the right conditions, like an extremely dark area and a flat surface to project the video on.
The Mini x Pokemon collaboration is definitely intriguing and could serve as a blueprint for how cars of the future can become advertising opportunities more easily. Being able to immediately change the atmosphere inside the cabin just by switching themes would almost be on par with how you can customize smartphones and computers today. The Pikachu-themed Aceman brings a certain spirit of play without actually offering built-in games that could prove to be dangerous for drivers and passengers. Of course, you could probably hook up a console or computer to play games with the exterior projector, potentially making long trips more fun, at least if you have the perfect spot for doing that.