Logo



The Rocketman Revealed: Details of MINI’s City Car

With the positive reaction still ringing from it’s introduction at Geneva, BMW has given MINI the greenlight to produce the Rocketman concept. But MINI design has quite a lot of work to do ahead of the 2015 debut date. Based on several sources and BMW insider Scott27’s recent insight, we’ve pieced together what to expect when the smallest MINI since the original debuts in four years time.

First off costs have scuttled the idea of a carbon fiber chassis or even components. That will likely be left for the next generation Rocketman theoretically due around 2022. But that doesn’t mean MINI isn’t serious about lightweight materials in the short term. The use of high strength and light weight steel along with aluminum and composite will play a major role in all BMW group cars and especially the MINI range. We expect the Rocketman to be no exception.

The design will be close to the concept but with several notable changes. First up MINI will add a b-pillar back into the car for increased structural rigidity. One concept feature that MINI design is working to retain is the split hatch and drawer. The notion is that it could help with space efficiency while harkening back to the original MINI’s drop-down trunk lid.

Perhaps most importantly for the rest of the MINI range, the Rocketman’s light halos will not only make it to production, but show-up across most of the range of MINI models. They will be LED and be used as day-time running lights.

Inside the car retain it’s general layout of 2 + 1 seating but will make use of more typical materials. The dash and speedo design will be similar but a little more grounded in a 2015 reality rather than 2030. Look for MINI to retain the center speedo and screen (yes we said screen) but make the dash less upright and more raked or angled. This change will be seen first in the 2013 F56 MINI hatch due late next year. Finally look for lighting to play a major role in customization of the new car.

Despite the Rocketman’s size, MINI will use it’s typical model range strategy. That means a MINI One, Cooper, and Cooper S model with diesel equivalents for certain markets. BMW’s new range of three cylinder will provide the majority of engine options but BMW is also investigating use of PSA’s forthcoming two cylinder. But perhaps more exciting, MINI is actively looking at making use of one or two of BMW’s award winning motorcycle engines.

Finally look for MINI to resurrect the MINI E with the Rocketman making use of BMWi technology.

But what about the name? We’ve surprisingly come to like the Rocketman name even with our initial reservations. And apparently BMW feels the same way as we’re now hearing it’s strongly being considering for production. Whether or not it’ll be cleared by the lawyers remains to be seen however.

If the name is cleared and the Rocketman launches successfully what’s next? MINI is asking that same question and is even thinking about the Rocketman as a potential sub-brand for MINI. That would mean an entire range of small cars that mirror the current MINI range. Convertibles and other more utility type vehicles could all be on the table.

Look for MINI to debut the production Rocketman in early 2014 and for it to go on sale late that year. While MINI USA initially said it would likely not be available here, we wouldn’t rule it out given 2025 EPA standards that are currently proposed.

You can read more about the Rocketman here. And for those of you interested, you can check out our analysis of the concept design.

Full Gallery

[nggallery id=59]

Written By: Gabe

  • JonPD

    Looking forward to seeing what they eventually come up with. Going to have to see the halo’s in person before making a decision on them, My hope is that the picture do not do them justice. Sure am hoping it comes to the states to retire the Smart lol 

  • Anonymous

    Gak! A face only a mother could love.

  • jeff

    i actually like the halos as long as they keep the diffuser cover and it doesn’t turn into a circle of points of light.

    • Jeff

      would like to see them more narrow as well

  • Anonymous

    Please bring this to the US. Pleeeeazee!

    • HERR26

      I think MINI Rocketman can work in all key International markets for MINI.

      • Anonymous

        Yes, clearly the Fiat 500 is pushing into this size class. No reason to not offer this model here. I would certainly consider this in place of the B-class coupe.

  • http://about.me/bentyyc Ben Tsui

    Exciting to see the direction that this and the F56 will bring. Why 2+1 rather than 2+2 (or 2+0)? Here’s another vote to keep the Rocketman name!

  • Harry Dill

    The scale is an absolute plus as are many of the design details, including the beautiful headlight treatment. The multi-articulated doors are debatable. A much simpler gullwing or scissors design may have provided an appropriate alternative. Engine choices will be interesting to monitor. Given the lead time it would be nice (and again — appropriate) to see the Rocketman powered by a fuel cell inasmuch as BMW already has test bed vehicles in European use. A “real” mini MINI is exactly what we need to keep tradition intact albeit with a refreshingly contemporary futuristic interpretation.

  • otter

    I am 98% certain that I will be buying a Rocketman (if it has some rocket to it), Paceman (if it retains some attitude), or an F56 (if it stays, MINI). So far, they all hold the promise of being uber interesting and with a field of three odds are at least one will remain desirable once they hit show room floors. I completely agree with Jeff about the light halos, as long as they keep the diffusers I like them.  Frankly it hadn’t even occurred to me that they could end up as a ring of individual lights, crap, now I am worried.

  • Fatherfee

    If they put those crummy tailights on all MINIs I’m gone.

    • JonPD

      Those are purely conceptual so think you safe.

      What surprises me still the most is that BMW/MINI was surprised at the reception of this concept. I am not certain why this would have caught them offguard as over the years there has been a lot of talk on all sorts of MINI sites about tons of people wanting a closer to classic sized Mini. 

  • Fatherfee

    If they put those crummy tailights on all MINIs I’m gone.

  • Harry Dill

    It may not be named “Rocketman,” but rest assured it will be a rocket propelled by a 503 horsepower, turbocharged, 2.5 liter, five-cylinder engine churning all four corners. It is the AUDI A1 Clubsport Quattro concept on display at the Austrian Worthersee Tour — perhaps the most powerful small car ever! Given the metaphorical name MINI has chosen, making it a ultra-high performance vehicle could be very intriguing versus a high-economy urban transit vehicle.

    • JonPD

      Pretty sure MINI will keep this as a city car not a high performance. I am sure it will be sporty but not anything like that A1 Clubsport (that will never see production)

    • HERR26

      The problem with such grand ideas as this … Is that it takes the car away from it’s original intentions. Whilst it shows creativity it also shows that you should not get too big for your own boots whilst thinking about your market.  MINI works because it is affordable if you take the Cooper S , Audi are moving towards S1 and if rumours are correct an RS1 which means more weight thanks to AWD and of course a price that could be in range of 10-15,000 euro more than the MINI flagship. Not everyone will buy such a car because it will factor in as too expensive.

      If you take the Rocketman and give it a Cooper S variant and make it drive like an amplified to 11 MINI then we can have a new statement on affordable performance but still be an efficient city car.

      MINI of course will have it’s Coupe  which is coming to give the pretenders and would-be pretenders a very well timed shock in regards to affordable performance.

      You are two weeks away. from the debut at the 24hours race of Nuerburgring in which a MINI Motorsport inspired Coupe will make it’s debut.

      • JonPD

        I really look forward to seeing the MINI Motorsport inspired Coupe, that is if your talking about the new R58 I hope. Would love to see MINI put this out and shocking everybody by producing something that really turns up the performance for the brand. Think all MINI really needs to do is look at the MASSIVE aftermarket of people turning their stock cars into much better performance cars.

    • HERR26

      The problem with such grand ideas as this … Is that it takes the car away from it’s original intentions. Whilst it shows creativity it also shows that you should not get too big for your own boots whilst thinking about your market.  MINI works because it is affordable if you take the Cooper S , Audi are moving towards S1 and if rumours are correct an RS1 which means more weight thanks to AWD and of course a price that could be in range of 10-15,000 euro more than the MINI flagship. Not everyone will buy such a car because it will factor in as too expensive.

      If you take the Rocketman and give it a Cooper S variant and make it drive like an amplified to 11 MINI then we can have a new statement on affordable performance but still be an efficient city car.

      MINI of course will have it’s Coupe  which is coming to give the pretenders and would-be pretenders a very well timed shock in regards to affordable performance.

      You are two weeks away. from the debut at the 24hours race of Nuerburgring in which a MINI Motorsport inspired Coupe will make it’s debut.

  • http://twitter.com/lets_motor_ohio Doug

    Thumbs up, but with kids, I need four seats. 

  • gokartride

    This will be a fun one to watch…A LOT can happen in the city car segment by 2015.  It’ll be interesting to see how MINI responds as design/production of this car evolves.

  • goat

    I love this thing and am VERY happy to hear MINI has greenlighted it for production.

  • Dave

    They need to STOP dumping crazy money into these concept cars and start concentrating on the current poduct line which they cant even buy enough automatic transmissions for….not to mention they come out with the Accessories and Motoring Gear Catalogs long after Christmans this year……now there is some planning!

    Hey MINI here is a concept for ya, worry more about what you acutally have in the “Works” and stop worrying about these knuckle head cars with tons of glass which will only be blocked up with Zippy Shades, tint and vinyl !!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Music is ubiquitous. No matter where you are, you have a habit of listening music. For many famous dre beats outlet athletes, music is like a warm current that drives them to go forward. Here is a good piece of news Monster Earphones for you. Powerbeats Sport Headphones designed for those people who like to do sports at the gym, or beats headphones enjoy moving to music. You’ll hear full range sound with clarity and power, plus your surroundings. cheap beats by dre Beats by Dr.Dre – Monster PowerBeats Earbud Headphones – Red is the breakthrough in-ear headphone you Monster Beats Studio ’ve been waiting for. Whether you’re running, shooting hoops, or cycling, specially designed eartips let Monster Limited Edition you hear ambient sounds while maintaining full awareness at all times. Additionally, an adjustable/bendable Monster Beats Pro On Sale ear hook with flexible arm keeps Powerbeats securely in place, no matter how hard you play. Music is a driving Monster Beats Solo HD force in the game of many top athletes. Now, it can bring out the best in yours. Whether you work out hard at the Monster Headphones gym, play to win in team sports, or enjoy moving to music,Monster Powerbeats? is the breakthrough in-ear headphone Monster Artist Series Sale you’ve been waiting for. dr dre beats


Sort by MINI model

MotoringFile on Instagram








MINI Model Cheat Sheet

1st Gen MINI
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R55: Clubman
R56: Hatch
R57: Convertible
R58: Coupe
R59: Roadster
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F54: Clubman
F55: Five Door Hatch
F56: Hatch
F57: Convertible
F60: MINI Crossover
F58: Traveller

Advertise with MotoringFile

If you or your company are interested in advertising on the most influential MINI website in the world, please visit our Advertising section. If you have further questions about becoming a sponsor or would like to see our rate sheet please feel free to contact us directly.
mini mini
Translate MotoringFile with Google: 
 

BF

MotoringFile Buyers Guides

R50 ('02-'06 MC) Buyers Guide
R53 ('02-'06 MCS) Buyers Guide

BF

SF



MotoringFile Reviews

Reviews:
'12 JCW Coupe
'11 Fiat 500 Sport
'11 Tesla Roaster 2.5 '11 Countryman Comparo
'11 Cooper S Hatch
'11 Countryman MCS (FWD)
'11 Countryman MC (auto)
'10 Mayfair MCS (auto)
'11 Countryman MCS (ALL4)
'10 MINI E
'10 Tesla Roadster Sport
'09 Cooper S Convertible
'09 JCW Hatch
'09 JCW Clubman
JCW Stage I vs JCW Stage II
'08 Clubman S (Auto)
1st Drive: '08 MINI Clubman
'08 Smart Fourtwo
Comparison: '08 BMW 135i
'06 R53 MCS vs '07 R56 MCS
'07 R56 JCW (Stage 1)
'07 MINI Cooper S Long Term
'07 BMW Z4 M Coupe
'07 MINI Cooper & Cooper S
Audio: '07 MC/MCS at the Track
'06 JCW GP Long term
Reader Review: JCW GP
'06 JCW Cooper S Long Term
Comparison: '06 Lotus Elise
Comparison: '06 Mazda MX5
Comparison: '06 UK Focus ST
Comparison: '06 Civic Si
Comparison: '04 TVR T350
Comparison: '06 Nissan 350z
Comparison: '06 VW GTI w/DSG
Podcast: Cooper S Auto
Podcast: BMW 325i
Podcast: JCW MC Soundkit
'04 JCW MINI Cooper Tuning Kit
'05 MCS: One Month Review
'05 MCS Auto
'05 JCW S 1st Drive
'05 MINI Cooper
'05 MCS Conv. Long Term
'05 MINI Cooper S
'05 MCS Cabrio 1st Drive
'04 JCW MCS First Drive
'04 MC w/JCW Tuning Kit
BMW M3 SMG Vs. MCS
'04 MINI Cooper CVT
'02 MCS 3 year Review
Autocrossing the MINI Range


cafepress