Late last year, Mini revealed a quirky looking concept known as the Rocketman. It was smaller in size compared to the Mini hatchback and it was ideal for urban dwellers. But soon after the Rocketman Concept was released, Mini had to place the idea on the shelf.
This was mainly due to the overall size of the Rocketman which said to cause handling and stability issues. With the announcement of Mini releasing a revised Mini Rocketman concept for the London Olympics, there is a possibility that the concept is due for a return.
The new edition of the concept car sees Mini reaffirming its commitment to the brand's British roots. The new Mini Rocketman Concept wears its British heritage on its sleeve, most prominently in its exterior and interior colour schemes and more subtly through the use of extremely high-quality materials and stylish details. All in all, it embodies a typically British form of sporting elegance.
The colours of the Union Jack, looks prominent on both the outside and inside of the car; where red and white accents accompanies the dominant dark blue. The body's non-metallic paintwork is interspersed with exposed carbon components at the front end and around the doors. And the 18-inch light-alloy wheels have white polished areas and a metallic red accent. Matt Porcelain White paintwork is also used for the mirror caps, boot opener and surrounds for the radiator grille and headlights.
The grille structure, made up of MINI logos, could certainly be described as eye catching, thanks to its red metallic paint finish and contrasting white surround. A red strip emphasises the path of the hallmark MINI diagonal link between the wheel arch and door at the foot of the A-pillar. This takes a particularly chunky form on the concept car and also makes a feature of the door hinges.
The two-section split boot opening consists of one upward-pivoting element and a second segment which extends out of the body in the form of a drawer and which is also painted blue on the inside in the new Mini Rocketman Concept. The rear lights have a trapezoidal stirrup design and work using projector technology.
Another special feature is the distinctive lighting design for the roof. The concept car has a full-surface glass roof, where illuminated braces recreate the look of Britain's Union Jack flag.
The interior of the car exudes a sporting ambience, while intricate details emphasise the car's connection to London. The inner door panels and rear side sections are trimmed in dark blue nubuck leather, while the familiar MINI elliptical door rings provide an effective contrast with their white leather. The circular surrounds for features such as the air vents, door pulls and stereo speakers are split into two sections and consist of a red inner ring and white outer ring.
The exposed carbon elements in the interior accentuate the Mini Rocketman Concept's high-tech character and are incorporated into its colour scheme. For example, the blue paintwork used for the dashboard merges smoothly into black around the steering wheel, producing a harmonious flow of colour into the dark carbon surfaces.
The most distinctive element of the dashboard is the cockpit surface, which is bordered by a red bar and has a striking 3D effect. Its relief structure depicts the name of every host city of the summer Olympic Games in the modern era using artistically intricate lettering, with London given particularly prominent billing.
The seat surfaces blend blue nubuck leather with an innovative textile fibre. The upper sections of the seats' side bolsters, which provide additional support under dynamic cornering, are made from a rubberised material whose composition takes its cues, in terms of both style and function, from high-performance sports textiles and shoes. The seat belts also share the dark blue tone of the seat surfaces, while thin red and white strips add extra flourishes.
The new design of the Mini Rocketman Concept also displays its sporting spirit, Brit-chic style and eye for extravagant details through the range of sophisticated accessories for the interior. The stowage compartment on the centre console between the driver and front passenger symbolises a basketball court with miniature players.
The key fob for the new concept car, meanwhile, comes in the form of a rocket decked out in British national colours. Other interior features include a rucksack attached behind the front passenger seat, which is made from the same rubberised material used for the seat bolsters and also sports the three-dimensional cockpit motif.
The new edition of the Mini Rocketman Concept cuts an unquestionably British and an unmistakably Mini automobile. Designed to welcome the athletes taking part in the "greatest sporting show on earth" to London this summer, the new edition of the concept car underlines the central role played by typically Mini customisation in every new product idea from the brand.
Photo credit: Auto Evolution and Net Car Show
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