Rumor: MINI Pulls the Plug on Rocketman

Car Magazine is reporting that the MINI City car project (aka the production Rocketman) will not be moving forward to production in the foreseeable future. MINI recently did its usual model pitch to the board of parent company BMW and the diminutive 3m MINI didn’t make the cut.

This isn’t that surprising given its small size and the considerable cost that would be involved in making the car both road legal and worthy to carry the MINI badge. That makes it no less disappointing. It’s a shame really, as the Rocketman was the most warmly received new MINI design we’ve seen in a long, long time. MINI pitched the car vigorously to the board — complete with production designs, demographics and projected sales data, but alas, it was not meant to be.

Written By: Nathaniel Salzman

  • Anonymous


  • tec

    I still hope it’s not true.

    If the 3rd generation MINI hatch (F56) will be longer, BMW could build a Rocketman on the actual 2nd generation that will last for year used by the coupè and the new roadster.

    Probably BMW has killed only a smaller Mini, not a Mini with the Rocketman design.

  • Stevereynolds9090

    Nooooooooo! (many Bothans cried giving you this news.)

  • Anonymous

    Boooo board of parent company.

  • Anonymous

    Boooo board of parent company.

  • Dunphyjp


  • Anonymous

    There must be a god…;-)

  • Anonymous

    Thank goodness!

  • that.guy

    Praise be to Him.

  • Rhawth99

    Good, the prototype is certainly an ugly little bugger.

  • Anonymous

    That’s a crying shame, but I do hope some styling elements make it to the F56. In particular the light pods, fender and hoodline which is where the current car really falls flat. I know the EU pedestrian safety regs have an impact on hood heights but I hope the designers come up with a way to have more distinctly raised fenders, like the R50/53.

    Also I hope they go back to having the lights as part of the hood so we can get rid of the bonnet shutline right over the front wheel arches. That gap is never perfect and made it necessary to repeat a similar detail over the rear wheel arches.

    I currently drive a 1-series after two Minis (R50/53) and I would be happy to come back if I see what I like in the F56.

  • http://www.facebook.com/scamper Scamper Robinson

    Hearing this, I’m especially glad that the 2-seaters made the cut. I think Mini has been heading the wrong direction with all the bloated, oversized Minis to appeal to the massive masses. What I want is smaller. As soon as Minis forfeit gas engines for electric, I’ll be interested in those 2-seaters. (Until we have electric, I’m sticking with my 2003 Mini. Doesn’t make sense to buy a gas-powered car in this day and age.)

    • Not fooled

      That what they were saying in 1911 when it was predicted that gas powered cars were history. The electric car is a ridiculous concept the only subscribers to junk science want. Notice that the Mini E is history. If anyone cares to check the average cost of each Chevy Volt is $250,000 when the government subsidized R&D is taken into account. All for a $40,000 piece of junk that has already been recalled. And Chevy can’t dump it the way Mini did the E because they are now owned by the current regime. It’s Solyndra on four wheels.

      The most agravating thing about these $40,000 golf carts is people get a tax break when buying them. Which means that other tax payers are helping foot the bill. Just so some tree hugging symbolism over substance fool can show us how much more they care about the enviroment than I do.

      Of course when you take into account the coal that’s burned to create the electricity and the fact that these batteries will wind up in a landfill, an electric car is worse for the enviroment than a Hummer.


      • Anonymous

        Well said Chumps!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CQSSO4A4Z6CLUWSCJVBOQKHHOE BrianF

    OK with me, I didn’t like it at all.

  • Glangford

    Fine by me.  I don’t know if I’d want much smaller than my current R56.  

  • DBB

    Hoping it’s not true, even though you guys are usually right on the mark.

  • Mills

    Hope it’s not true, this was the only Mini that I was looking forward to. You know the F56 will be bigger again than the R56, and that the brand in general is growing in the wrong direction. Also, how can all those other car makers out there make small cars, like the Toyota IQ, and Mini can’t?

  • MiniRacer

    Good Thing, good thing,  Very good thing. Let’s pop the champagne!

  • R Burns

    What a shame.

    The last hope of e REAL Mini

  • Chris Underwood

    Disappointed that a smaller MINI might be gone (I don’t dislike the current ones, but would be interested in a smaller one too depending on it came out), but happy as all get out that the Rocketman itself is axed.  The Rocketman is easily the fugliest thing I’ve seen since the Aztek.

  • Rj

    Thank god! This is the worst looking mini. Infact, the designer should be givn the sack for designing such a silly looking design. Mini needs to build upon its existing design and the Rocketman is simply horrible.

  • Aaron Granger

    I kinda dig the Rocketman styling, but the overly dramatic headline from Car Magazine… not so much.  The Rocketman was a CONCEPT CAR!  We shouldn’t be surprised that it won’t be manufactured because IT WAS NEVER MEANT TO BE A PRODUCTION CAR!  You can’t kill something if it was never alive.

    The Rocketman did exactly what it was supposed to do:  It let design engineers play with some new ideas and styling.  It gave them the chance to show it to a lot of different people and gather feedback.  In typical BMW/MINI use, it also gave them the chance to introduce some new styling cues that they know they are going to use on future models to the world, breaking us in slowly to the shapes and forms so that they don’t look so foreign when they arrive.

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