Sep 16th, 2014
And that is not an understatement. Following the official launch of the F55 and its subsequent review by a number of outlets, Auto Express editor-in-chief Steve Fowler shares his thoughts on the status of the MINI brand:
Think of it this way: if the original Mini was built by a company that had the wherewithal and finances to continually develop it, 911-style, as it should’ve been, I suspect it would be a very similar car – and model range – to what it is today. Whether you like BMW owning MINI or not, the German company has done brilliant things with the brand, and will continue to do so.
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 →
Dec 11th, 2013
Over the past few days we’ve been focusing on MINI Design’s past through an interview with the lead exterior designer of the R50 and then a look back at some key concepts that launched the brand. Today we wanted to step back but in a different direction. It’s a direction that’s more relevant to the F56 and to where MINI is heading. In late 2010 MINI unleashed the Rocketman concept after furious work by the Gert Hildebrand lead design team. The initial concept came together during a layout at JFK earlier that year where Hildebrand and Head of Exterior Design Marcus Syring (now at Rolls Royce) starting talking and sketching a smaller more basic MINI. continued →
Jun 14th, 2012
MINI has dusted off and updated the most exciting concept from the past five years. The MINI Rocketman was meant to show off how far MINImalism could go and how the original MINI could be reinterpreted without an increase in size. The updates aren’t dramatic but they do offer some new interior ideas while wrapping the entire package in a better looking color scheme. All well and good but we’re more excited to see the Rocketman back in the public eye because we believe it will visually prepare us all for release of the 3rd generation in late 2013. As we’ve reported in the past, we believe the Rocketman is a very good look at the F56 and the entire 3rd generation of MINIs. The size may be different (the F56 will be the same size as the R56 and R53) but the general design language we see here will be shared with the new MINI expected to roll-out late next year.
Official Release: This summer the best athletes from some 200 countries will gather in London, England for the London 2012 Games – the biggest sporting spectacle on the planet. A total of 302 medals for the Olympic Games and 503 for the Paralympic Games will be up for grabs between July and early September, but the Games are about more than outstanding sporting achievement alone. The event plays a particularly important role as a platform for cultures to interact. And for London itself, there is the opportunity to once again put its best foot forward as host city. British premium car brand MINI will roll out the red carpet for the Olympians and Paralympians with the new edition of a spectacular small car study first presented at the International Geneva Motor Show 2011. The new design of the MINI Rocketman Concept combines innovative ideas for personal mobility in major cities with classical, unmistakably British design features inside and out. This extraordinary car will be on show in the BMW Group Pavilion, which is located close to the Olympic and Paralympic Village and will act as a showcase for the company during the Games.
May 7th, 2012
Thanks to Twitter we know that MINI has been recently busy photographing what looks to be a slightly updated Rocketman concept on Carnaby St in London today. Shod in JCW red roof livery and dark blue, the car looks better than ever. Does this mean the rumors of the concept dying have been exaggerated? We can only hope so.
Update: It would appear MINI is creating a short film featuring the Rocketman.
(Hat tip to Rakey and photo credit goes to Conallmahon)
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 →
Dec 26th, 2011
Perhaps the most well received concept from MINI in the past ten years, the Rocketman has long been held up by MINI faithful as the proper direction for the brand to head. However bringing the car to production isn’t as easy as many had hoped. Originally thought was given to shortening the R56 or even the next generation F56 platform. However that has turned out to be not an option, either being too difficult or not feasible given costs. But that hasn’t quelled enthusiasm for the car inside MINI and company is look at another option.
Enter Toyota. Last month BMW announced a collaboration between BMW and Toyota that will give BMW future hybrid technology and Toyota BMW’s award winning four cylinder diesel engines. But rumors are that the partnership could expand even further. continued →