Finally! A proper mini sized MINI. The MINI Rocketman Concept was recently revealed at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show and I believe they got the essence right this time. Prior to this pocket rocket, BMW MINI seemed to be dishing out larger and larger ‘MINI’ cars like the recently launched Countryman. I suppose they’ve finally realized that there are a lot of people out there that want to relive the original MINI size and feel. You know, that Tardis-like feeling you get (look at one from the outside and then sit inside one and you’ll get the picture), that quirky steering wheel position, the bouncy ride contributed to by the extremely short wheelbase (as well as the hydrolastic suspension) and its extremely small car handling that simply encourages enthusiastic drivers. It is small. Much like the MINI from the Austin/British Leyland/Rover days. It is less than 3.5meters long, less than 2 meters wide and less than 1.4meters tall. It is less of everything and more of what I’d like a MINI to be. The car seats three (including the driver) most of the time, with a small 4th jump seat for children by the looks of it. It looks decently cozy in there, almost comfortable for a tiny car. You get unique double hinged doors that allow ingress and exit of the front and rear passengers. There is a two piece tailgate, ala Range Rover or the EG series Honda Civic (aside from the slide out lower piece). Unfortunately, the press release does not say what engine BMW MINI intend to stuff in the Rocketman as this is more of a design as well as a material usage (it is built out of carbon fiber) study than a full blown production ready concept car. I hope it gets the MINI Cooper S’ 1.6liter turbocharged 4pot. If this little critter is offered with more than 190bhp then this little rocket would really live up to its name. It'll certainly be specced with the base 1.4liter engine from the MINI One that's for sure. It’s like the 1960s or the 1970s again with the MINI Rocketman Concept. I seriously hope they’ll bring this one into production soon and send all of those mammoth sized minis (in the MINI sense) to the nearest scrap heap.
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