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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I am editorializing a bit, but the brilliant innovations found in the iQ have apparently gotten the attention of MINI/BMW. They are looking towards a partnership with Toyota that may bring about the smaller MINI (the MINI everybody really wants) that BMW should have been building but couldn't. First Aston Martin, now BMW/MINI. Speaks highly of the iQ as a true automotive wonder.

MotoringFile » Archive » Could A BMW & Toyota Partnership Result in the Rocketman Being Produced?

ps...don't mind the comments by the gobsmacked MINI owners. They're just trying to wrap their minds around the whole thing. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Just to let your know this project is still underway as of this week:
"Toyota has a next gen IQ in Munich with MINI and they are sorting out if a joint platform for the Rocketman could work."

Fact is, Toyota out-mini'd MINI and BMW can't replicate this level of innovation without help from Toyota. That is kinda sad for MINI, a car that was initially grounded in innovation around very small cars. My opinion: the iQ is every bit the spiritual successor to the Mini (car of the century) as is the MINI, although perhaps for different reasons. Hats off to Toyota for their creativity, engineering prowess, and vision.
 

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I doubt BMW wants to change the Mini to be more IQ like any time soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I doubt BMW wants to change the Mini to be more IQ like any time soon.
This is happening at this very moment. Now, whether it will stick is another matter. Initially MINI was the ultimate word in modern small cars, but the iQ has moved that bar.

BMW/MINI released the Rocketman concept car (a smaller MINI) a few years back. It was a car that generated (and still generates) a good deal of enthusiasm within the MINI community. Why? Because it is smaller, and lately MINIs have been getting larger. Prior to the Olympics, another version of the Rocketman was spotted in London being photographed and the buzz started all over again. However, at about the same time BMW/MINI stated that the Rocketman was not feasible for them cost-wise, and that is in part why they entered into a partnership with Toyota. Given the heritage of the Mini there is still great interest in this smaller MINI, yet sources painly state that if such a thing is built, it will borrow many ideas from the iQ (which continues to be mentioned by name since it...according to me...is now the state-of-the-art in small cars).

MINI sales numbers are healthy, no doubt, but they still have a heritage to uphold and I think they know that. Either they will build the Rocketman or continue to excuse themselves from the ethic that their name embodies. We'll see how this thing turns out.
 

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go,
You might think that the IQ is state of the art in small cars but it is not selling in the USA.

I think that BMW knows that sales volume is how you keep score.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
it is not selling in the USA.
True. Perhaps here BMW/MINI is looking at a more global market and a possible future in which city cars are in more demand (although that may never happen in the US). That, and sheer enthusiast excitement/buzz around the idea of a smaller MINI. As is so often the case, though, "state-of-the-art" and "robust sales" do not always correlate precisely. Even MINIs, which now are seen everywhere, were few and far between back in 2002-2003.

I think that BMW knows that sales volume is how you keep score.
This is very true with BMW, and they seem to be principally guided now by shared-platforms, modular engine design and economies of scale. That's all fine and well, especially given the current European economic scene. Yet I believe on a whole other level MINI/BMW is very attracted to the innovations found on the iQ, innovations that are both world-class and very Issigonis-esque. It's like a moth to flame. So, for BMW/MINI, the interest seems to be there for a smaller MINI, and clearly enthusiasts have expressed that they are favorably disposed. It seems this partnership with Toyota (generated primarily by the iQ) is their means of possibly moving the project forward. I suspect this developmental mode is a necessary part of being an auto-maker to ensure market relevance into a future that is only projected as of now (although maybe less so in Europe).

The point is a fair one though: if a down-sized MINI came to showrooms in the U.S. tomorrow, would it sell? I'd say no, no better than the iQ, although MINI does have a traditional cult-following around very small cars and some folks are already salivating over the Rocketman concept. Like I said, this whole thing may also look very different from a Euro-perspective where small cars are more in demand.

In any case, I have been struck by how often "iQ" and "Rocketman concept" are uttered in the same sentence, in print anyway. Who knows what will become of it. The news simply speaks very well of iQ innovations, I think.
 

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I have always loved the Mini-Cooper, I hate the BMW-Mini. I never like when they talk a classic style and re-invent it. Same with the VW beetle and others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am a big fan of the classic Mini, too, and perhaps it is this factor that made me keep to jump from MINIs to an iQ. How ironic!
 

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Rather than restore my '67 's" I got an IQ. The IQ reminds me more of the classic than the '03 "s" I had. I may have to build an IQ"s" model!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Rather than restore my '67 's" I got an IQ. The IQ reminds me more of the classic than the '03 "s" I had.
Fascinating! I have never owned a classic Mini but have friends who restore and drive them. I had '03 and '07 Cooper, but couldn't be happier with an iQ!

I do hope MINI builds their Rocketman, but in many ways I'd be surprised if they did given the market forces barnone mentions.
 

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I love the classic Mini myself and used to race them in my youth.
Here's a picture of my Mini Cooper S that I raced in the 1971 Greenhills GP (Philippines).
It was a lighted and reinforced Mini Cooper S Mark II with an 8-port Crossflow head (135HP), ltwin45DCOE webers, limited slip differential,
and all the bells and whistles....

Enjoy.

http://
 

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That must have been a blast to drive/race!
Yes it was.....untouchable even by the factory sponsored Toyota Celicas and Ford Escorts! :)

The following year, the car won 12 out of 13 open car class Autocoss eventsand clinch me the 1972 Driver of the Year Award. :eek:
 
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