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by Tim Beissmann

The pint-sized MINI Rocketman Concept has broken cover this morning ahead of its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show on March 1.

At around three and a half metres long, the Rocketman Concept is a three-door hatch with what MINI calls a ‘3+1’ seating configuration.

MINI says the Rocketman will offer a combination of “ingenious functionality, smile-inducing agility, exceptional efficiency and irresistible design”, while still remaining “typically MINI”.

The side doors are perhaps the most innovative feature, with a second hinge close to the front wheel arches designed to offer easier access to both the front and rear seats. The doors are designed to open wider in tight spaces, a desirable feature in small modern car parks.

The two-part tailgate is another intriguing design feature. The glass window hatch is hinged high on the roof of the vehicle, making the opening mechanism a compact one, while the lower section slides out 350mm like a draw, as opposed to the conventional bottom-hinged system.

Although MINI is yet to announce the drive system underpinning the Rocketman Concept, we expect there will be some form of electrification or hybrid technology at work.

MINI says it will achieve combined cycle fuel consumption of 3.0 litres/100km, and will not sacrifice performance, promising “enhanced sprinting ability”.

Inside, the traditional MINI central control unit can be taken out of the car and configured before the start of a trip to update navigation destinations, music playlists or mobile contacts. When connected to the car, it will provide access to a range of entertainment and communication functions, including internet connectivity.

The Rocketman measures 3419mm long, 1907mm wide and 1398mm tall. MINI says it will act as a study car for the brand’s future design language, with the crucial features being the “tightly contoured surfaces, large wheels … straight lines [and] resoundingly solid structure”. The large circular headlights and chrome-edged radiator grille are also elements we can expect to carry over into the next-generation MINI vehicles.

The horseshoe LED taillights are among the biggest deviations from the current design, and give the rear of the Rocketman a truly unique appearance.

Personalisation has become a staple of the MINI brand, and the Geneva concept does not disappoint, with a Union Jack-inspired glass roof and coloured interior lights making a bold statement.

MINI is expected to reveal the full details of the Rocketman Concept at Geneva, which kicks off in under a week.




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