The MINI Rocketman has been one of the most popular MINI concepts introduced in the past few years. Tribute that to the Rocketman’s smaller size (a throwback to the old Austin Mini Coopers) and innovative vehicle technologies.
Rumors of the Rocketman making it to production have been surfacing since its introduction at the Geneva Motorshow last winter, though no formal production plans have yet come to fruition. MINI has publicly stated their desire to make the Rocketman a reality for the MINI consumer, as the auto group continues to broaden the MINI vehicle lineup. Anders Warming, MINI’s Head of Design has described the Rocketman as, “a clear leap forward” and a vehicle that represents, “the true heritage of the brand.”
With all the enthusiasm surrounding the MINI Rocketman, what is keeping this vehicle from the production line? A suitable platform, for starters. MINI has been unable to find a cost-effective means of retrofitting their existing (and future) vehicle platforms to suit the needs of the Rocketman. This has led the BMW Group and MINI to think outside the box.
Motoringfile reports that a recent partnership between BMW and Toyota which included a technology swap (Toyota’s hybrid technology for BMW’s four cylinder diesel) may expand to also include Toyota’s next generation small urban car platform; a platform suitable for the MINI Rocketman. Questions abound pertaining to MINI brand integrity should BMW decide to use a Toyota platform for a Rocketman vehicle that will be a central fixture in the MINI lineup.
BMW has demonstrated class and taste in their handling of the MINI brand over the past decade, successfully linking elements both new and old to reinvent the iconic car. Accordingly, BMW’s engineering team has earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to introducing new models.
This year’s Geneva Motorshow should give the public a better understanding about the future of the Rocketman.
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