Aug 2nd, 2012
MINI uses concept cars differently than many other car companies. Mainly, MINI will often use their concept vehicles to give the public a preview of actual cars to come, not just pie-in-the-sky imagination with absolutely no chance of ever seeing pavement. Sure, some details may be outlandish, but the underlying spirit and foundation of a MINI concept vehicle can be seen in the road going versions that do come to market. Recent concepts for the Paceman, Roadster and Coupé have turned out to be more or less 1:1 to their production versions.
Ever pragmatic, MINI tends to present concepts they actually want to see get produced. You don’t see any jet-engine powered nonsense or would-be supercars from MINI. Even their most outlandish concepts are usually rooted in something they’d actually like to make. In the end, a business case may not make sense for something like the Rocketman, the Scooter E or the Beachcomber, but it wasn’t for lack of trying on the part of the MINI design team. They want some version of these vehicles to see the light of day and usually, so do we. Click past the break for a full retrospective of MINI concepts reaching all the way back to 1997.
Jun 29th, 2012
Big news out of Munich today as BMW announces a deeper strategic partnership with Toyota. Specifically, this strategic partnership will focus on four major areas:
- Fuel Cell Systems
- A “future sports vehicle” platform
- Powertrain electrification
- Lightweight materials and manufacturing
While these areas of focus could have a wide range of applications throughout BMW Group, they could also point to one particular exciting possibility for MINI fans: a production version of the MINI Rocketman concept. We’ve been hearing rumblings from sources for awhile that, in order for MINI to profitably build the Rocketman they’ll need a partner. It’s possible that this Toyota/BMW partnership could include BMW collaborating heavily with Toyota on the next generation platform for the Toyota iQ. This platform could then underpin a production version of what we now know as the MINI Rocketman — a car that would deliver a MINI in nearly its classic footprint.
Feb 18th, 2012
The MINI Clubman is already the most practical car in the range in terms of cargo space. Fold the back seats down and pile it in. Well MINI has taken it a step further with the new MINI Clubvan Concept. Featuring opaque rear windows, a rear seat delete, and a handy cargo cage, the Clubvan Concept will debut at the upcoming Geneva Auto Show. As concepts go, it’s hardly a stretch. Yet in execution, we dig it. Full details and gallery after the break. continued →
Feb 8th, 2012
The MINI Rocketman/MINI CITY is a concept that just won’t die, yet it’s also a car that might not actually live to see production. We’ve gotten conflicting reports since the Rocketman Concept’s debut that the diminutive MINI both would and wouldn’t see real world production. Various people in leadership, including MINI’s top man, Dr. Kay Segler, have expressed a very strong desire to see the little MINI on the city streets near you, yet we also know that the car isn’t in the current product roadmap recently approved by the BMW board. Inquiring minds want to know will this car get built or won’t it? Now we have some clarity from Sven Grutzmacher, BMW Group press spokesman at the recent press launch of the MINI Roadster. Well, sort of. continued →
Jan 24th, 2012
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. continued →
Dec 24th, 2011
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? continued →
Jun 16th, 2011
For those who don’t read the comments, there was some interesting chatter the other day between frequent MotoringFile commenter and BMW insider Herr26. He gave us some interesting information on some future MINI variants. Specifically, Herr26 mentions the future of the Paceman, the next generation of the Clubman and the as yet unseen Spacebox (aka MINI MAT). Considering Herr’s comments are almost always spot on they’re probably worth repeating here for those who may have missed them. continued →