The Mini Aceman concept vehicle debuted barely a month ago, but it's already sporting a rather notable change. That's especially true if you happen to be one of the millions of Pokémon fans around the world, and if you're attending Gamescon 2022 this year, you'll be able to see this shocking upgrade firsthand. Say hello to the Mini Concept Aceman now equipped with ... Pokémon Mode.
What exactly does this mean? We already know Mini gives the Aceman a tech-infused interior with a big centre OLED screen and lighting effects that project images throughout the cabin. In Pokémon Mode, the centre screen starts up with a Poké Ball that opens to reveal everyone's favourite electric critter, Pikachu. And the sequence isn't limited to the centre screen either – Pokémon Mode projects lightning shooting across the dash and ultimately projects more blue and yellow lightning streaks outside the car.
Gallery: Mini Concept Aceman Pokemon Mode
Unfortunately for Pokémon fans, the Mini Concept Aceman is a one-off vehicle designed to highlight the near future for the brand, both in terms of technology and design language. That means you won't be able to buy a new Mini with Pokémon-themed tweaks anytime soon, but the automaker does offer a consolation prize. In addition to the full-size concept car, Mini will have toy versions of the Aceman in Pokémon guise at the event that Gamescon attendees can get. The automaker is the main sponsor for the merch area after all.
Perhaps the big question is whether future Minis might eventually get some form of Pokémon mode. There's certainly a tremendous following for the animated series that evolved into a video game franchise, but for now, Mini is conveniently vague on the subject.
"Gamification will play an increasingly important role in the Mini of the future and offer a unique experience for our customers," said Stefanie Wurst, head of Mini. "In cooperation with Pokémon, the shared joy of the franchise brings two iconic characters, that are a perfect match, together with millions of fans. This is how we reach a whole new target group at Gamescom 2022, as an event for modern fandom, gaming, and pop culture."
The Mini Concept Aceman with its new Pokémon Mode will be on display at Gamescon 2022 in Cologne, Germany from August 24-28. For those seeking a bit more driving action in their automotive games, check out the Rambling About Cars podcast on sim racing, available below.