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 →
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 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 10th, 2011
WhatCar.com is reporting in an interview with BMW/MINI leadership that while the recent BMW investment in UK manufacturing may spawn as many as 10 MINI variants, the Rocketman Concept will not be among them. While clever doors and composite materials featured in the Rocketman Concept will see the light of day in future MINI models, Ian Robertson put it pretty bluntly:
The Rocketman was a concept and we have no plans to take it further, but features of it will appear on future Minis.
No word yet on if this kills the entire MINI city car program, but we will do our best to find out more.
Jun 3rd, 2011
With the positive reaction still ringing from it’s introduction at Geneva, BMW has given MINI the greenlight to produce the Rocketman concept. But MINI design has quite a lot of work to do ahead of the 2015 debut date. Based on several sources and BMW insider Scott27’s recent insight, we’ve pieced together what to expect when the smallest MINI since the original debuts in four years time.
First off costs have scuttled the idea of a carbon fiber chassis or even components. That will likely be left for the next generation Rocketman theoretically due around 2022. But that doesn’t mean MINI isn’t serious about lightweight materials in the short term. The use of high strength and light weight steel along with aluminum and composite will play a major role in all BMW group cars and especially the MINI range. We expect the Rocketman to be no exception. continued →
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