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Rocketman on MINI’s “Christmas List”

What does MINI Head of Design Anders Warming want for Christmas? A production version of the MINI Rocketman concept for one thing. Warming told members of the UK Press Corp that the Rocketman was, “a clear leap forwards,” and a car to “claim the true heritage of the brand” at the annual press dinner — this year about the new Roadster and other models. Warming went on to say “The Rocketman and Roadster are part of an ongoing dialogue with customers that asks, ‘What can we do with Mini?’ It’s about making authentic movements and developing a relevant bandwidth for the brand.”

Does that mean a production Rocketman is in the works? That remains to be seen. As much as we’d love to see it come to light, there’s a lot of conflicting information out there and our sources keep pointing toward no. But is Anders’ continuing narrative about the Rocketman a sign of future production consideration? We certainly hope so. In his remarks, Warming talked about “bandwidth” — about the breadth of MINI’s product offerings and its expansion into other segments. The guiding concept is that MINI’s “always the smallest car in the segment, has lightweight engineering and engines that are class-leading in terms of efficiency.” Then going on to reaffirm MINI’s focus, Warming reiterated that the regular MINI hardtop will “remain at the center of the brand.”

There are a number of key challenges to bringing a car like the Rocketman to production. Its all carbon fiber chassis for one. A car like this, if it did come to market, would also be at a significant premium. Would MINI buyers be willing to shell out the cash on such a small car just to exercise their ideals of how small a MINI “ought” to be? While our sources say we can expect to see design elements such as the “halo” headlight rings in the next generation MINI Hardtop (the F56), that’s a long way from seeing this stellar little concept in the cf flesh. Maybe if we’re all really good next year Anders’ Christmas wish will come true.

[Source: Inside Line]

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Written By: Nathaniel Salzman

  • Anonymous

    Make it of steel. CF will follow in due time.

    • KLF23

       ditto.

      C-mon MINI. It’s not Rocket(man) science!

      We need this.

    • hfred

      I’m not seeing how CF could “follow in due time.” Aren’t production methods totally different for steel and CF?

  • Dunphyjp

    Steel chassis, JCW suspension Standard, the revised engine (cross fingers 220hp jcw engine), available only in manual and keep weight around 2300lbs? oh i’d pay a premium for that!

  • Ulrich Diederich

    Yes, keep it small, light and simple. Enough with the refinement, size creep and more cupholders because that’s what the market wants. I want a real true MINI.

  • HERR26

    The MINI Rocketman is slowly coming back to favour, especially in light of the recent BMW-Toyota partnership that one option BMW are looking at is joining in with Toyota’s small city car platform which will also be shared with PSA in order to bring the Rocketman to production.  Although the use of a single platform will be cost effective, BMW engineers will develop the platform to suit the MINI.

    The next generation MINI and BMW City Compact’s modular structure is still to large for the MINI Rocketman hence why the option of a ready made modular platform by Toyota is proving to be more appealing and insument in bringing the car to production within the next few years. Whilst the discussions are ongoing the outcome will not be known until nearer Geneva time.

    The structure will also prove effective for an electric drivetrain with the next generation Toyota IQ city car earmarked for an electric powered model which could also share with MINI.

    • Ulrich Diederich

      Herr 26, since you seem to be somewhat in the know, what is going on with the F56 3rd gen hatch? Information seems to be very scarce, looks like the anticipated debut at Mini United has been canned, and there have been no mule/tester sightings.

      Could it be that Mini has gone back to the drawing board and decided that a bigger, more refined Mini is not the way to go? I can only hope.

      • Frank Granados

        Same here. BMW seems to be very tighted lipped about the 3rd generation MINI, unlike the R56, which as early as 2003, we were already been fed all kinds of previews and sneak peaks of the second generation car that was eventually released in 2007.

        To me the Rocketman is what the second generation should have been. I hope that MINI is coming back to its roots and realize that a MINI is a very special kind of machine in which too much refinement or increased size doesn’t help for its long term appeal.

        I am still holding to my R53 S which is a fabulous car to own and drive. I see the Rocketman as the embodiment of the R53′s core values.

        MINI, build it!

        • Anonymous

          Well I agree with some of what you said about size and all that but really this thing stinks like cow pooh on you shoe after walking thru a cow pasture. You can’t tell me this thing is attractive, can you???? Really??? IT’S BUTT UGLY!

  • RB

    It’s BUTT UGLY!

  • Rj

    While I love the Mini hatch and the clubman, the rocketman is ugly as hell.


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