The MINI Rocketman still has life and could head to production.
In a recent interview with Autocar, MINI product chief Ralph Mahler spoke about the Rocketman and Superleggera concepts, hinting that both still have a chance of becoming production vehicles. The MINI Rocketman concept first debuted in 2011 as a subcompact MINI model, but the lack of an available platform meant it never saw production. MINI is, however, reconsidering the Rocketman as an electric vehicle offering, since its small footprint would make it easier to package electrical components properly.
“The Rocketman is inspiring us as of today, especially as an EV in the future,” said Mahler. “It was something that was ahead of its time but is still inspiring. With a smaller car, it’s a bigger challenge. With Rocketman, and talking EV in the future, as the EV engine gets more portable, it’s give and take [as to whether it is possible to make such a small car].”
Another aspect that could benefit the MINI Rocketman is the British automaker’s ability to borrow parent company BMW’s i technology. It’s even possible MINI could use the i3’s structure, building the running gear into the floor to free up space.
In addition to the MINI Rocketman, the Superleggera concept remains a topic of discussion within MINI’s offices. The concept, which was a collaboration between MINI and coachbuilder Touring Superleggera, has received plenty of positive feedback, but Mahler acknowledges that the “roadster segment is small and demand is going down, with new markets opening up.” Unfortunately, MINI still has not made a decision on whether the Superleggera will head to production.
We will however, see a new MINI concept this June as part of BMW’s centenary celebrations.
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