The world premiere of the MINI Rocketman Concept introduces visitors at the International Geneva Motor Show 2011 to new ways of sampling urban driving fun in its cutting-edge form. The study car's characteristics are geared to the multilayered demands of a contemporary target group, whose mobility needs are shaped by their desire for driving fun, a flexible use of space and extensive connectivity with their lives outside the car. The creativity of the MINI design team once again allows them to transfer fundamental MINI features and values to a groundbreaking new vehicle concept in untarnished form.
The MINI Rocketman Concept is a compact and agile three-door car which offers comfortable accommodation for the driver, front passenger and another passenger, and can add a fourth individual seat in the rear if necessary. The capacity of the luggage compartment can be adapted to the passengers' requirements just as flexibly. The innovative door and tailgate concept developed for the MINI Rocketman Concept ensures extremely comfortable entry and uncomplicated loading, while side sills integrated into the doors allow the entry area to reach well into the interior. The two-part tailgate consists of one section which is attached to the roof and opens extremely high and a lower section which extends out of the body in the form of a drawer.
The MINI Rocketman Concept body is shaped by an avant-garde interpretation of time-honoured brand features. Innovative construction techniques allow the principle used in the classic MINI - of providing the maximum amount of room on the smallest possible footprint - to be carried over to the mobility challenges of urban areas in the 21st century.
The hallmark MINI design language exudes a powerful and dynamic allure, its proportions and distinctive design features ensuring that it is immediately recognisable as a member of the brand family. Large headlights and the chrome-bordered radiator grille dominate the front end, while large wheels and the three-level structural split of body, "wraparound" greenhouse and roof resting on top give the flanks the same appearance as the MINI models already in series production. The rear lights of the MINI Rocketman Concept have a trapezoidal stirrup design, while the transparent glass roof is segmented by illuminated braces to recreate the look of Britain's Union Jack flag.
The innovative character of the study is defined by the systematic application of lightweight design principles and a pure-bred interior geared to maximum driving fun. A carbon spaceframe construction, whose striking surface structure is visible from the outside both on the radiator grille and in the interior, forms the basis for a weight-minimising construction. Inside the car, leather covers and high-gloss painted surfaces combine with armrests and trim strips made from a special paper that has been pressed and folded into the desired structure. A wrap-around light strip at waistline height generates a particularly harmonious ambience.
The control concept for the MINI Rocketman Concept also sees the brand exploring new directions. The customary Centre Speedo houses a projection surface boasting 3D graphics presentation capability. This allows information particularly relevant to the driving situation to be displayed in the foreground. The display is operated using both the steering wheel buttons and the integrated trackball. In addition, the MINI Rocketman Concept also has a removable control element for all comfort and connectivity-related functions. This can be configured on a computer before the start of a journey, allowing the driver to transfer new music files, a navigation destination and contact details for mobile communications and internet usage into the vehicle with maximum convenience.Published 28 February 2011