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MINI is showing off its latest EV, there’s a solar EV on its way, and when Jaguar V12s roared in Australia.

MINI is showing off its latest EV, there’s a solar EV on its way, and when Jaguar V12s roared in Australia.

Every time I start a story about a new car from BMW-owned MINI, I think back to how near-perfect the first R50 hardtop was. The other day, @carcounsel posted about that first modern MINI, which in turn generated a number of comments from People Who Have Actually Driven Many Many Cars. Most notably from Anthony Ingram, Assistant Editor of Hagerty UK:

“Definitely got it right first time around […] the way they drive has never quite been the same. R50 feels low-slung, has the largest glass area, the best steering/balance. Most like a classic Mini, in fact.”

That car, as good as it was, sadly ain’t coming back. The MINI Concept Aceman is a preview of what’s next from the brand—clearly a move to cover off the similarly Made In China (that’s a good thing) smart #1. More on the new smart here.

Looking at the new car’s exterior, I want to hate it. Inside, however, I’m all for it.

Will you be calling this MINI EV concept an Ace or Joker?

abovethe Instagram post from @carcounsel about the MINI R50.

I don’t mean to be cruel, but solar-charged EVs don’t deserve to look like a missing left orthopedic shoe. I’m saying this as a big function over form guy.

So if we’re ever going to survive the age of global warming, we need probably 85% of the cars on the road to use energy more like the Sono Motors Sion…without extracting many resources to do it.

As for its looks? Better than floods & droughts.

Sono Motors shouldn’t have to shoulder this environmental message, and in fact, given the trucks, SUVs, and large vehicle fleet that currently smogs up our roads, it’s lazy writing to probably even mention its environmental credentials. Why else would a company travel down the route of an “asset-light” mass production solar-powered family car if not to provide earth-friendly transportation?

At my current driving habits, its estimated 110-odd kilometers of solar-generated range per week would be just about enough. Its combination 75 kW DC / 11 kW AC battery can be grid charged…otherwise you’d be waiting a week to get to Bee-I-eN-Gee-Oh.

Total range is an estimated 305 km—still better than many cars in its class. Price? €25,000-30,000. For perspective, in today’s (German) market, that’s about what a Can-Am Maverick X3 side-by-side costs—then you’ve still got to buy a windshield, wiper, and lower door parts.

If Sono Motors’ talented staff can put this together, pray that other manufacturers see the light; this concept has genuine merit. Now it just has to start—and keep—shipping.

Fifteen minutes in, Tom Walkinshaw is sitting in the pits, waiting for something—and starts screaming at his crew. Otherwise, this is the closest to 20 minutes of Jaguar V12 ASMR you’re going to get. In-car, competing at Bathurst—what could be better? via Super100MPH
Here’s the external feed and commentary of this car’s Mount Panorama pole position lap at the time—including audio as its V12 engine howls through the lap. via Sciflyer