Sep 16th, 2014
Much has been written on the Rocketman on these pages. Earlier this year our sources had told us that the car was undergoing feasibility studies with an eye to bring it to market on the back of a Toyota platform. Ever since MINI Design head Gert Hildebrand and Exterior Design head Marcus Syring dreamt up the idea of the Rocketman while waiting for a delayed flight at a New York airport, there’s been a powerful movement within the company to get it built. While the initial design study was seen as a major success, it died on the vine due to BMW not wanting to invest in a city car version of the forthcoming UKL platform. More specifically BMW didn’t believe the sales volume would ever make up the initial investment unless they sold the car for the same price as the F56 – which to many would be unacceptable.
But lucky for us that didn’t stop the enthusiasm inside MINI for making a city car. And now we have our first promising public quote from MINI Design Chief Anders Warming on the topic. continued →
Sep 13th, 2014
The stunning Superleggera Vision concept which was originally unveiled at the Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este made its UK debut last week at Salon Privé, its second public appearance. According to Reuters, BMW board member Peter Schwarzenbauer stated the decision on whether to green light production of the Superleggera was still at least six months away and that there would need to be many questions answered in the meantime. However as we previously reported, there is a strong internal desire at MINI to bring the Superleggera to production. continued →
Aug 21st, 2014
MINI concept cars have traditionally served one of two purposes: a design exercise showcasing future brand-direction but not bound for production or a thinly veiled version of a near production vehicle. The stunning MINI Superleggera Vision unveiled at the 2014 Concours d’Elegance at Italy’s Villa d’Este and the Rocketman Concept at the 2011 Geneva auto show fall into the former category. The latter would contain the 2010 Paceman Concept and the 2009 Roadster Concept and Coupé Concept. But in a society fascinated by both transportation and dreams of the distant future, what is MINI imagining beyond the edge of the automative horizon?
The answer is the MINI Design collaboration with online magazine Dezeen “Frontiers – The Future of Mobility” which will have an exhibit at the 2014 London Design Festival. continued →
Jul 23rd, 2014
Designer Tamás Jakus has combined two future BMW Group icons into one interesting conceptual design study. Dubbed the MINI Superlaggera Motorcycle, this design study in two motor forms combines the platform of the BMW R NineT with the aesthetics of the MINI Superlaggera concept MotoringFile readers should remember from a few weeks ago.
May 19th, 2014
Ever since MINI Design head Gert Hildebrand and Exterior Design head Marcus Syring dreamt up the idea of the Rocketman while waiting for a delayed flight at a New York airport, there’s been a powerful movement within the company to get it built. While the initial design study was seen as a major success, ultimately it died on the vine due to BMW not wanting to invest in a city car version of the forthcoming UKL platform. More specifically BMW didn’t believe the sales volume would ever make up the initial investment unless they sold the car for the same price as the F56 – which to many would be unacceptable.
But lucky for us that didn’t stop the enthusiasm inside MINI for making a city car. continued →
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.