The 2011 and 2012 MINI Rocketman concepts took a look at an even more micro MINI city car. As the new model Hardtop three-door grows far larger and wider than ever, there is a strong desire to return to the car’s barely-there dimensions. This is in sharp contrast to the overall MINI range, which has blown outward in all directions to a total of nine models at this point. Even MINI feels this has gotten out-of-control, with the Paceman (2-door offroader) and Coupe set for the chopping block in the near future.
The problem with an even smaller MINI is that the market potential is unclear, but the costs are a bit more obvious. It would be hard for MINI to sell a Rocketman-sized car for much less than the existing MINI Hardtop, with similar bosts to assemble. But without a big price cut, the micro-MINI would face big challenges beating cheap city cars from Hyundai and Dacia.
Additionally, there is a small global market for micro-cars. Well, that is not exactly true. But key markets like the USA and China are not eager for a super-MINI.
Even so, this concept shows some cool ideas functionally and style-wise. The doors bringing part of the front wings with them as they open is a clever way to ease access, while the rear tailgate glass brings part of the roof with it for easy luggage loading. The clear glass roof is a highlight overall, with the clear and embedded CHMSL stop lamp a particularly cool feature.
As far as production influence, the light signature in white LEDs up front has now arrived on the MINI third-gen.
So will the Rocketman materialize in production form? Not likely. The MINI four-door is big news for the brand this year, and there are rumblings of a sedan version for 2017. Both of these will have far bigger market-appeal than this cute super-MINI.
2012 MINI Rocketman