Analysis: MINI Rocketman

MINI | February 23rd, 2011 by 6
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Echoes of Elton John singing in the background, notwithstanding, the Mini Rocketman is an interesting concept for BMW. The first thing that crossed my mind …

Echoes of Elton John singing in the background, notwithstanding, the Mini Rocketman is an interesting concept for BMW. The first thing that crossed my mind when viewing the images were Megacity, in essence, here is the BMW i3 in Mini guise.

The body structure of the Megacity has been shown prior, but without any conception of how doors and interior trim would be fitted. The Rocketman concept goes a ways towards showing how that may occur in the Megacity/i3. The articulated hinges for the doors are a good place to start. Smart, clever, and very cognizant of providing a wide opening in minimal space, the doors are definitely a good solution.

The seating shows off a 3+1 design with the passenger front seat and its corresponding rear seat receiving the bulk of the space for legroom. The driver’s side rear seat is a +1 (or a ‘dickey’ seat – not very comfortable but usable in a pinch – with ‘pinch’ being the operative word).

Analysis: MINI Rocketman

The size of the vehicle is really the highlight. The original Mini was purposefully designed to be 10 feet, nose-to-tail. The Rocketman echoes that length fairly closely, coming in at a hair over 11 feet. What we are seeing, as a result, is the ability of engineering to solve crashworthiness issues within some very tight external dimensions. Based on the press release, the Rocketman would also seem to have the full compliment of electronic bells & whistles, all the mod cons and urban hipster would need.

Analysis: MINI Rocketman

And make no mistake about it, this is envisaged as an urban solution. While no mention was made about powertrain specifics, would we be far off if we expect a three (possibly two cylinder? -1,000 cc two) with a smart hybrid-nosed transmission and 10 kW or so of battery power on tap. They did mention a 3 liter per 100 kilometer fuel consumption figure (or right at 94 MPG – Imperial gallons that is, that would be about 78 MPG US).

While the press release focused a bit on the styling touches and electronic gizmos available, the real news to me is that it’s another potential outlet (and a slightly less premium price point) for the Megacity chassis. They must have this volume carbon fiber construction process figure out.

Analysis: MINI Rocketman

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