When the new Mini first emerged around 10 years ago, it was only available in one body type. In other words, there was only one model; the Mini hard-top hatchback. It was offered in several engine variations and trims (Cooper S, John Cooper Works, One, etc.). Five years later, the new Mini was offered in convertible form. Consumers did not have much choice when they look at the new Mini. It was either a hard-top version or a convertible.
But starting from 2008, Mini has added two new models. Firstly, it was the Mini Clubman which was basically the estate or elongated version of the Mini hard-top hatchback. Two years later came the Mini Countryman. It was a crossover SUV and the company’s first 5 door model. It was available in all wheel drive.
And now, Mini has come up with a new concept known as the Rocketman and BMW (Mini’s owner) has hinted that we might get to see the car as early as 2014.
Sometime this year, the company has revealed that they are in development of a smaller version of the Mini Cooper hatchback. It is, in a way, a homage to the marque’s minicar roots. While the Countryman has increased in weight and stretched in dimensions, the Rocketman’s size is ideal for urban environments.
Several unique features of the car make it suitable for city dwellers. Firstly, the car will have a length of 11 feet (3.35 metre) which makes parking an easy process. The car’s articulating doors allows the entering and exiting of passengers and loading and unloading of cargo in tight spaces an easy task (also ideal for larger-sized passengers, in my opinion).
The car has a quirky seating arrangement. Usually cars have at least two seats at the back but the Rocketman has a 3+1 seating arrangement; two seats at the front (driver and front passenger) and one seat at the back. The other space could be used for extra cargo space.
Another unique feature of the car is the pull-out cargo compartment (like a drawer) at the rear of the car (see picture above).
According to Mini’s head of Design, Anders Warming, “the Rocketman is a necessary step in increasing the appeal of the Mini brand and it would likely enter the product line-up at a price below the Cooper hatchback.”
The Rocketman may very well be the next to carry the Mini badge but I feel that there won’t be much change in the next Mini hatchback as it is the company’s flagship model.
Photo credit: Net Car Show
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