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      06-01-2011, 09:26 PM   #1
SCOTT26
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3,2,1 We Have Lift Off! All Systems go for the MINI Rocketman

3,2,1 We have Lift Off!
All Systems go for the MINI Rocketman.



After a well received reception for the MINI Rocketman at The Geneva and Shanghai Autoshows respectively and appreciation from a different crowd of enthusiasts at Villa D'Este.
The MINI Rocketman is rapidly progressing through development from idea to concept to a production reality.

When you look at the Rocketman Concept you do see vast expense especially in the genetic make up in the car with it's complete carbon fibre structure MINI Rocketman as you see it is a true concept car in the traditional fashion. It is how the transition from concept to production reality that the showcar that people loved can make it through development carrying those same cheeky looks and compact proportions.
But it is correct that there will be additional revisions to the original Concept Car. For example as reported the Carbon Fibre structure is out due to the costs involved. Maybe in the second generation of Rocketman but for now it is not possible, that is not to say , however that additional options are on the table.

But they are working on other parts of the concept to see if they are feasible , for example the rear bootlid could retain the split hatch , drawer which could be used to form a link with the original mini and it's drop down trunk lid. And add a more adaptable approach to the storage capacity.

The overall look of the car will be identifiable between Concept , and even the next MINI as the Rocketman preludes a new look especially with the light ring halos around the lighting units.
The rear handle bar lights are not feasable in their three-dimensional form, But could be applied across the rear in a direction similar to the upcoming Paceman Production car or in typical MINI trapezoid shape. The Proprtions and size will stay true to the concept car.

The Production Rocketman for structural integrity would inherit a B-Pillar and a full roof , although a full-length sunroof would find it's way as optional equipment.
Whilst Carbon Fibre is out of the question , other materials such as Aluminium and press-hardened steels along with fabricated components from lighter materials would make sure the car retains a signifcant weight for it's size.

The interior with it's more set-back central speedometer/screen is something that is coming with the next MINI , the dash will be more raked instead of being upright. In the production small MINI the dash design is expected to be carried over but be less visual concept and more mainstream materials.
The interior of the next MINI also brings some interesting ideas in order to make the car more personal.
Whilst some manufacturers have gone for the removable plastic components. MINI want to make a statement and allow more personalisation via lighting.
The 2+1 seating arrangement will stay.

What's in the name? Well MINI are actually considering calling the car the Rocketman now , designers and trim and materials have actually designed some funky motiff's using the retro-rocket image displayed by the cars central screen. Including rocketship upholstery designs , Roof graphics , even a little rocket insignia for the bootlid . MINI Rocketman is actually letting creativity flow in order how to appeal the new small MINI to the general public.
The Concepts flick switch starter or booster is expected to be a standard feature.

Of course BMW see the MINI Rocketman following the MINI and be offered in respondent
Entry models , a mid-level Cooper and an even spicier Cooper S which could be a very exciting proposition. John Cooper Works could follow.

What is even more interesting is that there is discussion in relation to powerplants - With the upcoming Three Cylinder being the definitive choice , but there is other avenues being explored such as a- developed from the three from PSA - Two Cylinder. One car seen at MINI's engineering HQ in Munich is the Fiat 500 with Twin Air technology. Small powerplants would help keep the MINI's weight down and provide ample power.

One particular interesting idea which shows how BMW investigate all solutions in engineering. Is an option BMW have tested on a skeleton car chassis and proved to offer great efficiency , weight balance and power on a compact chassis. Given that it was the modular platform found on the upcoming F20/F30 1er/3er, integration into a smaller car's chassis would be prefectly feasible. And the engine?

It came from BMW Motorrad's Division.

In marketing the car it will be identified as a MINI allbeit the baby MINI but will continue the focus with the character and culture that makes the brand what it is today.
MINI Rocketman - If it is called this. Will be the entry MINI model so car would have to appeal to those who are buying their first car and mainly a very young demographic but of course there will be that nostaligia and the customers who are very much "Young in heart" in the market for the baby MINI. If identified as the Rocketman the retro culture could very much associate it with the new car.

It is hoped that the MINI Rocketman could again prove the lightning rod which came with the first generation (developed under BMW) MINI. That has so far evaded the MINI's nearest competitors showing that MINI was one of a kind and has lasted the pace for such products that are considered as lifestyle , culture and fashion that has a short shelf life.

MINI Rocketman should arrive in the market in 2015. Providing someone's Lawyers do not become involved.
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      06-02-2011, 09:27 AM   #2
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      06-02-2011, 12:13 PM   #3
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Or just call it the Mini Rocket.

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