MINI drops plan to produce the Rocketman Concept

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 25, 2012

Plans to produce the Mini Rocketman, also known as the mini Mini, have been dropped, according to the CAR magazine’s February 2012 edition. BMW has provided a list of new Minis but the baby Mini wasn’t included. Internally named the MiniMini or Mini City, the Rocketman concept is a design study to demonstrate how a small Mini true to the brand's core values would appear in the 21st century.

The reason for shelving the attractive but extremely short-wheelbase 3050mm urban runabout was not marketing or costs. Rather, this project was dropped because of the problems that arose from the radically reduced new platform.

So that the Mini Rocketman-sized city car would meet current regulations, a large investment was necessary to fix issues with its stability, handling and crash performance.

Rocketman concept car was first seen at the 2011 Geneva motor show. Sources told CAR that a shrunken Mini should have been scheduled for production at around 2016.

Measurements of the Rocketman concept are only 1907mm wide and 3419mm long. In comparison, a current three-door Mini hatch has a length of 3723mm.

MINI is known for its advanced construction techniques where the car is able to deliver impressive utility, despite the small size. You can practically take one of its vehicles just about anywhere. Also, all MINIs are well loved for its nimble and easy to drive qualities.

Fortunately, the MINI Rocketman Concept bears the entire brand’s styling features. Measuring 3.419 metres long, 1.9017 metres wide and 1,398 metres tall, the concept displays the same proportions as those of MINI’s current models or even when comparing it with the classic line-up.

The concept car’s dynamic and powerful appeal has been taken straight from MINI’s design philosophy. In this case, Rocketman’s solid structure is interpreted by applying straight lines, a large set of wheels and very taut contours around the surface. Other unmistakably MINI styling traits such as the chrome grille with bulbous headlamps are also found in the visual template.

It also has a lowered body stance and extensive profile that looks athletic particularly when seen from behind its back. The British brand has once again made another compact and practical design based on the new study. This is probably one of the reasons why after all these years, MINI is so popular and never seem to be losing its appeal among car enthusiasts.

Just like most of MINI’s production models, the iconic headlight units are also equipped with LED rings and indicators. These large headlights stand out in the concept’s smaller face even if it has the same size as those of other MINI models we see around today. While it’s also true that MINI’s signature style is constantly developing into new dimensions; one thing’s for sure, the Rocketman concept remains a MINI virtually in every aspect.

Topics: mini, concept, production

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