Speaking with Auto Guide, Mini product boss Pat McKenna said that while the Rocketman had officially been rejected for production, it is a concept he would still like to see reach the market. He also indicated that, if Mini is able to find a partner to help make a business case for the car, his hopes may yet come true.
“The only way it [Rocketman production] would happen would be if it was a partnership with another company,” McKenna said.
McKenna did also admit, however, that all attempts to find a production partner have fallen through so far.
"[Because of Mini’s] emphasis on driving performance, we haven’t found a partner chassis that has been suitable.”
The development of a platform small enough for the Rocketman has so far proven to be the main challenge preventing the car from reaching production. The BMW group does not currently have a platform small enough to build the car on, and the costs for developing one for a single model line are too prohibitive.
The idea that Mini might collaborate with another car maker on one of its models is not unprecedented. The first generation of modern-era Minis used engines sourced from Chrysler, while current Minis uses engines developed in collaboration between BMW and PSA Peugeot Citroen.
The Mini Rocketman – a mini Mini of sorts, given the continued growth of the Mini Cooper hatch and the rest of the Mini range – was first revealed at the 2011 Geneva motor show, and measured 3419mm, 200mm shorter than the reborn Mini of 2001, but around 400mm longer than the original Mini. By comparison, the current Smart Fortwo measures 2690mm.