AutoExpress, the overly sensational british auto tabloid, has done it again with a set of “photos” claiming that this is the production version of the MINI Rocketman concept. They are not. In fact the details aren’t even close to what MINI will ultimately produce. The ‘photos’ are nothing but photoshop jobs of the concept car we saw last spring at Geneva. However Auto Express does give us further confirmation that the Rocketman will ultimately be produced. So let’s talk about what we know. continued →
For your Friday viewing pleasure we have a huge gallery of MINI at the Geneva Motor Show thanks to our friends at Kilometer Magazine. Highlights are the two MINI Yours cars complete with leather dash, new colors and high-end trim. Then there’s the S2000 version of the MINI rally car along with the MINI Cooper SD. But perhaps most important we get our first close look at the Rocketman. As you can see it’s even better in person. (Full gallery after the break)
We’re big fans of Cool Hunting. What follows is an interview between Cool Hunting’s Ami Kealoha and BMW Design lead Adrian van Hooydonk. You can find the original interview here.
Is there a danger of being too cute with Mini?
The lines are more crisp and taut on this concept, because we feel that a Mini should always be like a friend, let’s say. But if it becomes too cute, than maybe people will see it like a toy, a teddy bear. Of course we like to appeal to young customers, but Mini traditionally is a car that appealed to people of all ages, cross-gender and all around the world.
The elements in this car, we believe are elements that could do that: keep Mini exciting, interesting fun, endearing, but also something to be reckoned with, also serious. Almost like a British bulldogâ€”a small dog, but people take it seriously. continued →
Perhaps it’s a bit unexpected for MINI to rollout the Rocketman at a fashion event before Geneva. But it did give us the chance to see the Rocketman ‘in the flesh’ for the first time. Pictures (even these) don’t quite do the car justice. There’s a full gallery after the break.
Official Release: In the company of an exclusive line-up of guests and a host of friends, MINI celebrated the global premiere of the new MINI Rocketman Concept against the backdrop of Milan Fashion Week. With more than 300 guests of honour from the international fashion and design world attending, MINI held its celebratory event at the Istituto Europeo di Design, one of Europeâ€™s most prestigious design schools with a focus on automotive and product design. The debut of the MINI Rocketman Concept was stage-managed by London-based film artist, photographer and director Marcus Tomlinson. Model and actress Lily Cole was in Milan at the time and appeared in Tomlinsonâ€™s art film, which was shown at the event. continued →
To understand the Rocketman we first have to understand what MINI is actually showing us with this concept. The Rocketman (interestingly known inside MINI as ‘MINI Pure’) is a design exercise meant to give us clues into two areas. First off it gives us a hint at the new design language MINI will use for the 3rd generation car. Secondly it gives us a peak at the kind of packaging we could expect for a MINI city car. But lets dive deeper and decipher what this concept really gives away. continued →
Today MINI has taken the wraps off of a completely new concept that takes the brand into familiar yet uncharted territory. First off ignore the name. It’s a temporary solution that will be fixed if this car goes into production. And speaking of production BMW says that this is the first MINI concept ever to be shown without a specific plan to put it into production. However we know that a small MINI city car is being seriously considering for the brand and this certainly fits within those guidelines.
Now let’s talk about this Rocketman. Internally known as ‘Pure MINI’, the concept is meant to be one part shocking and one part familiar. Since the 2001 when the R50 was released MINI has made it’s mark in a size segment just above true city cars. The size of the car allowed BMW to create a car that felt upscale yet still managed to embody the classic Mini brand qualities.
At 11ft and 3 inches long it’s a little over a foot longer than the classic Mini. As you’d expect the rear passenger area quite compromised and the boot space even smaller than the R56 hatch. But upfront dimensions are very similar to the current MINI with a completely new dash and instrument design that is modern in a very different way than the current MINI.
With the Rocketman MINI has given us a true city car – even if it is purely a concept. The car, which will be revealed to the public worldwide for the first time at the International Geneva Motor Show (3 â€“ 13 March 2011), harks back to the classic Mini in terms of its exterior dimensions, while its technology points to the future of automotive design. A 3+1-seater with three doors and a length of just over three meters (approx. 10 ft.), the Rocketman Concept responds to the fundamental requirements of mobile lifestyles in the large cities of the future by concentrating the brand’s core values in concentrated form.
One thing to note before we go further. This is purely a concept and it’s unrelated to the BMW i program. MINI hasn’t officially decided whether or not it will go into production and BMW has been keen on letting press know that this isn’t part of the megacity project. But let’s not allow that to think this is a throw-away exercise. The writing is on the wall and it’s clear that the MINI brand needs an offering in the city car space.
The MINI design team developed the vision of a car that takes up impressively little space on the road but boasts a surprisingly spacious interior. With this the Concept carries over the classic virtues of the brand into a groundbreaking vehicle concept. It offers a fresh interpretation of unmistakable MINI design features, and uses cutting-edge construction and manufacturing technology to create unique solutions in body and interior design.
The innovative character of the study is defined by the systematic application of lightweight design principles and a pure-bred interior geared to maximum driving fun and unbeatable variability. A carbon spaceframe construction, whose striking surface structure is visible at the front end of the car, around its doors and in the interior, forms the basis for a weight-minimizing construction. Indeed, the MINI Rocketman Concept offers the ideal platform for achieving high efficiency. To this end, it is designed to allow the integration of a drive system which with average fuel consumption of just three liters per 100 kilometers (94 mpg imp). (Full gallery after the break) continued →
1st Gen MINI R50: One & MC Hatch R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt. R53: MCS Hatch 2nd Gen MINI R55: Clubman R56: Hatch R57: Convertible R58: Coupe R59: Roadster R60: MINI Crossover R61: MINI Crossover Coupe 3rd Gen MINI F54: Clubman F55: Five Door Hatch F56: Hatch F57: Convertible F60: MINI Crossover F58: Traveller
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