AutoExpress reports that the MINI Rocketman is back on the agenda at the British automaker.
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Considered to be a MINI city car, the Rocketman would take on rivals like the Smart ForTwo and Toyota iQ. The unique 3+1 seater features three doors and has length just over 3 meters, cater to the urban lifestyle in big cities.
Head of design Anders Warming stressed the brand was still keen on the idea of a tiny city car, but “won’t reveal anything more [to the world] until [a viable design] is ready”. But Warming suggested to AutoExpress that the Rocketman was still on the table. “For sure, a MINI should always be a small car, so [a new city car] would be appropriate for the brand,” he said. “At the moment, we don’t have the right tech solutions, but we are working on it. We don’t yet have a final solution, you could say.”
The MINI Rocketman Concept was unveiled in 2011 at the Geneva Motor Show and was was based on a lightweight carbon fiber. But Warming says that might not be the material of choice if going into production. “I don’t believe carbon fiber is the route to a superlight MINI,” says Warming. “Our concepts have had carbon parts, but aluminium is more likely. We want to reduce parts, to do more with less.”
As for the interior, Warming said: “To have a great cabin, all you need is a great steering wheel, a seat and a great user interface. We want no superfluous parts. Driving in the city is stressful enough, so we need a reduction in the number of elements… True luxury is now simplicity.”
The MINI Rocketman Concept measures 3.419 meters (approx. 11 ft. 3 in.) in length, adding just a few extra centimeters to the front and rear of the brand’s founding father born in 1959. The new study is 1.907 meters. In person, the car resembles the classic Mini more than the official photos reveal and the obvious question arises: who can fit in the car? Wide-opening doors with double-hinge joints and integrated sills facilitate entry into the MINI Rocketman Concept, making it easier even for 6″2 tall people to slide in.
Just don’t expect to see a production Rocketman before 2016, with prices set to start at around £11,500.