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MINI Rocketman Concept: Carbon Spacefram City Car Gets 94-MPG

1709 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  scion_scion

When the new MINI Cooper debuted back in 2001, it was impossible not to note how much larger the car was than its classic predecessor. The less-than-mini size of the vehicle is even more obvious in Europe, where the majority of cars on the road share roughly the same dimensions. It comes as little surprise then that the brand famous for thinking small is preparing to unveil a new more-mini MINI at the Geneva Auto Show next week.

Called the Rocketman concept, this isn't a production car and it's easy to see why, with a state-of-the-art carbon fiber spaceframe that allows it to be incredibly light - although oddly enough, MINI isn't listing any figures relating to its weight.

Powered by what is rumored to be a turbocharged diesel 3-cylinder, the Rocketman is capable of 94-mpg. That's imperial mpg's however, with a U.S. number closer to the 78-mpg mark.

Size wise, its 11-feet 3-inches long, which just over a foot shorter in length than the current Cooper hardtop. For added perspective, the Smart fortwo is nearly 9-feet in length.

Inside there's seating for 3+1 (similar to Toyota's iQ) with three seats for adults and an occasional use seat for a child. Getting into and out of the car is made easy thanks to innovative doors that have double hinges, allowing them to open extra wide when there's room or to almost slide open when in tighter spots. Improved ease of access is also possible as when the doors open there is no sidesill to step over. Instead the bottom of the car moves with the door, as the carbon frame means rocker panels no longer have to be structural elements.

In terms of styling, it's always hard to tell how close a MINI concept is to production. Most automakers get pretty wild with their concepts, but MINI's designers are too concerned with crafting the car to look like a MINI to be overly creative. There are, however, a few unique elements, like the 18-inch carbon fiber wheels designed with aerodynamics in mid. And let's not forget the glass Union Jack roof.

Inside, it's typical MINI too, with a large center speedo (oh how we loathe you) that has a 3D display, and a futuristic look at MINI Connected with a joystick on the center console and steering wheel mounted controls to help you stay more connected.

MINI says the Rocketman concept is a look at a possible future model, taking into account the brand's core values, which include premium trim, a creative use of space and a dynamic driving experience.

Will MINI bring the Rocketman to market? Possibly, however, it's not likely to make it across the Atlantic. In a recent interview with AutoGuide, MINI U.S.A. boss Jim McDowell said he didn't foresee any smaller or larger MINIs in North America.
Get more: MINI Rocketman Concept at
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94 MPG is amazing and it's a shame America wont be seeing that number with this Mini. 78 MPG is acceptable, and I really hope the production model Mini Rocketman will live up to that 78 MPG number or around it for America. Lately some manufactures have been claiming outrageous MPG number and only meeting 60-75% of the claim.
This would be a great car, as its light efficient and could be the solution to fuel efficient cars. But this concept will never happen, carbon is too costly atm, as it kept being used for Kevlar vest....
This would be a great car, as its light efficient and could be the solution to fuel efficient cars. But this concept will never happen, carbon is too costly atm, as it kept being used for Kevlar vest....
So true. I bet they can get similar MPG's, worst case, lower MPG's that are still better than the competition with using a cheaper and light material since carbon is too costly. After all it's a Mini, no one will pay $70 000 (for example) for a Mini. I wonder what material they can use that is as light as carbon or just lighter than whats being used on the typical car these days.
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
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