When BMW offers the all-new Mk3 Mini hatchback in early 2013, it will have five doors, according to Autocar. This family-friendly version is BMW’s response to demands for a practical Mini that drivers with young children will appreciate. There were rumors that Clubman-style ‘suicide’ doors will be used on the new Mini but then, the new model will use two conventionally hinged rear doors.
BMW engineers were able to fit them into the sub-4m-long car by extending the wheelbase of the five-door car slightly and by cutting short its front doors. But even with these measures, the rear doors cut right around the rear wheel arches and close up against the C-pillars.
Even if an adult will find that accessing the rear is a bit tight, the main purpose of the rear doors is believed to be for kids to easily get in. In addition, it would be easier for the driver and front passenger to enter and get out of tight spaces because of the shortened front doors.
The five-door version of the Mk3 Mini, which is codenamed F56, will arrive alongside the three-door hatchback as the first of the new-generation Mini models to be launched.
Presently, BMW engineers are placing the last touches to both body styles, such as a three-door Cooper S version. Entry-level and mid-range models, including the Cooper versions, will be powered by BMW’s new turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine.
This highly advanced unit, which has a direct relation to the new 3-series’ N20 four-cylinder engine, will offer much better economy and emissions. It’s believed that the recently refreshed four-cylinder ‘Prince’ engine will be used on the Cooper S and JCW versions.
Regarding its design, the new MINI will be inspired by the Rocketman Concept. The MINI Rocketman Concept’s design is a modern take on the timeless elegance of the classic brand. A similar construction technique in the creation of the classic Mini is carried over in the Rocketman Concept but in a more innovative and modern way. It continues to be designed to have the same roomy feeling despite its actual size, keeping in mind the challenges that 21st century urban areas may bring.
A few extra lengths are added into the front and rear portion giving the Rocketman Concept a total length of around 3.419 meters (around 11 feet and 3 inches). It is actually longer than the brand’s first ever model which was produced in 1959. In terms of width, the concept car is 1.907 meters (approximately 6 feet and 3 inches) wide, its measurement inclusive of the exterior mirrors, while its height is measured at 1.398 meters (or 4 feet and 7 inches).
This new set of dimensions however do not compromise its goal of retaining the classic Mini image as it effectively highlights these proportions while keeping a newer and more modern look. The proportions aide in displaying the symmetries of both the classic and present-day line-up, giving it an unmistakable MINI look.
The concept car exudes a powerful and dynamic character thanks to its characteristic MINI design language. Mainly giving the MINI Rocketman an undoubtedly solid façade are the tightly contoured surfaces, set of large wheels and straight lines that emphasize its basic form. The MINI Rocketman is also sprinkled with a touch of distinctive MINI design features, making it all the more recognizable even for non-MINI enthusiasts.
Attached up front are large circular headlights and a chrome surround radiator grille; the headlight’s exterior contours follow a similar visual template as previous models, however, its inner structure has been modified with a modern touch. LED units are positioned at the center and bordered by an attention-grabbing light ring once the lights are turned to dipped-beam mode. The direction indicators on the other hand are similar to those featured on MINI’s current range.