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Rocketman To Be Produced, But This Isn’t It

AutoExpress, the overly sensational british auto tabloid, has done it again with a set of “photos” claiming that this is the production version of the MINI Rocketman concept. They are not. In fact the details aren’t even close to what MINI will ultimately produce. The ‘photos’ are nothing but photoshop jobs of the concept car we saw last spring at Geneva. However Auto Express does give us further confirmation that the Rocketman will ultimately be produced. So let’s talk about what we know.

As MF readers likely remember, we’ve been reporting for the last few years that MINI has been looking at building a city car based on a shortened version of the R56 chassis. AE suggests that BMW may lend the carbon fiber and aluminum chassis from the upcoming i3 for the Rocketman. The problem with that theory (beyond the fact it makes no sense) is cost and product complexities. The Rocketman will be priced lower than the standard MINI hatch and the i3 with all of it’s carbon and aluminum will likely be around the $40k mark. With that said we still believe the Rocketman will be based on a shortened existing MINI chassis.

Look for MINI Design to revise the entire car for production but retain the general look of the Rocketman concept.

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Written By: Nathaniel Salzman

  • Chris Underwood

    Re: 2…  No more scuttles?  Weak!

  • Jim C

    “Our images show how the pint-sized production car is likely to look…” “…engineers are intent on making the production car no bigger than the concept.” “…could be adapted for the production car…”

    Where do they claim to have anything official?

  • Anonymous

    Guess it doesn’t matter since it’s not coming to the US. Shame.

  • Anonymous

    …One need only to say that AutoExpress “has become”,  no,… that’s not right…”is” ….no, that’s not right either, let’s see…hmmmm… “is almost always”,.. yeahhhh, that’s it, unreliable!

  • HERR26

    The Rocketman is rapidly progressing but it is correct that there will be additional revisions to the original Concept Car.  For example as reported the Carbon Fibre structure is out due to the costs involved.  But they are working on other parts of the concept to see if they are feasible , for example the rear bootlid could retain the split hatch , drawer which could be used to form a link with the original mini and it’s  drop down trunk lid. And add a more adaptable approach to the storage capacity.

    The overall look of the car will be identifiable between Concept , production and even the next MINI as it preludes a new look especially with the light ring halos around the lighting units. The rear handle bar lights are ditched and could be applied across the rear in a direction similar to the upcoming Paceman Production car or in typical MINI trapezoid shape.

    The car for structural integrity would inherit a B-Pillar and a full roof , although a full-length sunroof would find it’s way as optional equipment. Whilst Carbon Fibre is out of the question , other materials such as Aluminium and press-hardened steels along with fabricated components from lighter materials would make sure the car retains a signifcant weight for it’s size.

    The interior with it’s more set-back central speedometer/screen is something that is coming with the next MINI , the dash will be more raked instead of being upright. In the production small MINI the dash design is expected to be carried over but be less visual concept and more manstream materials. The interior of the next MINI also brings some interesting ideas in order to make the car more personal. Whilst some manufacturers have gone for the removable plastic components. MINI want to make a statement and allow more personalisation via lighting.

    Of course the MINI Rocketman (Not it’s intended production name) will follow the MINI and be offered in respondent (possible)  One,Cooper and a spicier Cooper S.

     What is even more interesting is that there is discussion in relation to powerplants – With the the Three Cylinder being the definitive choice , but there is other avenues being explored such as a- developed from the three – Two Cylinder or a particular interesting idea as BMW have tested this option on a skeleton car chassis and proved to offer great efficiency , weight balance and power on a compact chassis. Given that it was the modular platform found on the upcoming 1er/3er, integration into a smaller car’s chassis would be prefectly feasible. And the engine?

     It came from BMW Motorrad’s Division. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1055105380 Richard Molyneux

      From these concept images, I can imagine a production version of the car having “skinnier” (leather) lounge type seats. Guessing from the shape of the headrests.

    • Anonymous

      Ultra-light Rocketman w/ BMW Motorcycle engine? Very interesting! If it could still accelerate comparably to my current Cooper Hardtop, presumably handle BETTER, and get ridiculous mileage… what’s not to like? 

  • Anonymous

     I’d still love a US market Rocketman.

    just sayin

  • Harry Dill

    Presumably, the production version will draw from the concept vehicle sans a few of the impractical design elements such as the awkward looking 3-D tail light housings. Overall, the thought of a scaled-down MINI is quite appealing and harkens back to the essence of the original design — compact and nimble. Three cylinders makes for an interesting sidebar particularly if a turbo diesel becomes an option available to U.S. consumers. MINI needs what VW Golf already has in the (Euro) Polo — a Micro MINI Rocketman.

  • bullitt

     i want one 

  • Dave

    All of the ”photos” of this Rocketman MINI I have seen thus far belong in a PIXAR’s Cars movie, and not on a public roadway……Whos designing these things ?  12 YR olds ?! 

  • Glangford

     Please bring this to the US!!!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      Agreed! 

  • Alpinamike

    Look who was in the Concept Show!

    Towards the end of the video, ignore the Audi!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpmlcPk84JQ


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