With the sighting of a prototype for the 2013 MINI Cooper confirming that the third-generation modern MINI would be growing in size, both in length and width, rumors have ignited once again that MINI is making way to launch its smallest model yet, a true ‘mini’ MINI.
We got the biggest indication yet that MINI was planning a new model smaller than the regular MINI Cooper with the unveiling of the Rocketman concept car at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. With BMW Group's marketing boss Ian Robertson recently suggesting that MINI's concepts traditionally end up in the showroom, there’s a very strong chance that we’ll be seeing a production version of the Rocketman.
Being MINI’s smallest car, it’s very likely that this new model will also be its cheapest, providing budget conscious buyers as well as those looking for great gas mileage a stylish option with plenty of cool.
The Rocketman concept measured in at just 11 ft. 3 in. in length, 6 ft. 3 in. in width and sat 4 ft. 7 in. in height, making it just slightly bigger than the original Mini of the 1960s. The production version should retain this size, along with the concept’s space-saving 3+1 seating layout and lightweight carbon fiber elements.
BMW has consistently stated that the carbon fiber construction techniques developed for its new range of ‘i' electric cars would eventually be applied to other BMW Group models, including MINI.
Power is expected to come from BMW’s new three-cylinder engine family, a modular design consisting of gasoline and diesel units that’s also expected to feature in BMW’s new front-wheel drive models as well as the 2013 MINI Cooper. An electric model is expected too, though not initially.
Unfortunately, its launch date isn’t pegged until 2014, and even then it might not be offered in the U.S.