The Mini Rocketman (we'll spare you the Elton John lyrics) was one of our favorite concepts from the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. Sure, the name is silly, but this pint-sized concept showed what could be in store for an even more mini Mini. A smarter Smart, if you will. However, a new report from CAR states that the entry-level Mini project has allegedly been canned. The Rocketman as we know it has been grounded.

The reason? CAR reports that it would be a costly endeavor to develop the Rocketman to meet street-legal specifications; specifically, handling, stability and crash standards. The concept only measures in at 134.6 inches long – a full 12 inches shorter than a standard Cooper hatchback, and while Mini insiders said that a production version could come as early as 2016, there are now no plans to offer a vehicle smaller than the current Cooper.


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  • 44 Comments
      Lou
      • 2 Years Ago
      So Mini will continue to get bigger rather than...mini-er? Sad, that concept was hot. I still think this ever increasing size will eventually kill mini.
      ShutoSteve
      • 2 Years Ago
      So in other words, an actual Mini is out of the question? Instead we continue to get inflated hatchbacks? My girlfriend does Ad work for BMW and MINI, and she always calls the current Mini cute and small. Little does she know just how small the old Mini was - this Rocketman could have brought the small Cooper back. What a pity...
        Dan S
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ShutoSteve
        Agreed. I love our '73 Clubman. I'd give good odds they just canned this because they didn't want a cheaper car to tarnish the MINI brand. Irony at its finest.
      Krishan Mistry
      • 2 Years Ago
      So MINI rejects a smaller car, but is content pumping out ever bigger crossovers that look like scaled up Coopers? Maybe BMW should rename the brand MIDI, and in a few years when everything will be the size of SUVs and weigh 4000lb, they can call it MAXI. Because supersize me.
        Peter
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Krishan Mistry
        BMW might have rights to the Maxi name from when they bought Rover (The Austin Maxi was a British Leyland car). That would have been a good name for the 4-door MINI. Sort of tongue-in-cheek. If the Rocketman did go into production, BMW would have toned down all the silly styling details, and we'd have a true mini MINI. I like the slim 'B' pillar, and the clear glass is refreshening.
      throwback
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hopefully the next Mini Cooper will get some of it's style.
        masonperegrine
        • 2 Years Ago
        @throwback
        I'm sure it will. I guess that makes this a design study, which is fine by me.
      itsmegp46
      • 2 Years Ago
      How can a car that never reached production get the ax? Never even got into production and development stopped is a lot more accurate.
      Lachmund
      • 2 Years Ago
      not a smarter smart...more like a mini more mini.
      Ghetto Cat
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yeck. At least they have some sense. I drove the Cooper in 'Project Gotham Racing 1&2 on Xbox and it makes me sick.
      JOSEPH
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Rocketman was never anything more than a styling exercise, like the 2006 Traveller concept. But like the story Autoblog ran last week about the new conservative interior, Autoblog gets it wrong once again. Dr Segler, head of Mini worldwide just confirmed last week that the Mini brand will grow to 10 models by the end of the decade. While the "Rocketman" is not coming, a new smaller Mini city car is.
        Lachmund
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JOSEPH
        the traveller developed into the clubman
        RB
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JOSEPH
        Yup one uglyass styling exercise. Smaller would be better but not at the loss of looks. I'll stick with my 2004 S, thank you very much!
      Jeremy Pennini
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's disappointing.
      futuramautoblog
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's a pity!
      Guy Inkägnētō
      • 2 Years Ago
      Putting the kibosh on the Mini compact, but continue pumping out SUV variants? Go figure...
      JonZeke
      • 2 Years Ago
      I like my Countryman, but I was looking forward to a truly mini MINI to drive in the city. For shame! Thing is, if Gordan Murray can make an even smaller 3-seater viable on a budget, what the hell is BMW doing wrong here? One thing I don't like about MINI and BMW products is sometimes I see evidence of unnecessary over-engineering in places where it doesn't add style, value or performance. There are parts like the hatch that simply weigh too much for what they are and do. I wouldn't be surprised if BMW's cost issues in thinking small are a result of too much time thinking big, or thinking race car. They should still try and make a truly mini MINI, I know I'd buy one.
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