MINI Kills Rocketman from Last Year’s Geneva Show

Most cars gain weight and size with each passing generation – take the BMW 3-Series for instance. Despite its name, MINI has proven to be no different. The MINI of today is a lot bigger car than the original. As far as lineup count goes, MINI has expanded in that read well.

It is well beyond the original two-door hardtop that launched in 2002. Today’s lineup includes the Clubman wagon, Countryman “crossover” and the upcoming Coupe model. At last year’s Geneva Motor Show, another addition was previewed in the form of the Rocketman. It was a truly mini MINI, with a size more akin to the original. With executives adding models right and left, most thought it was preview of a new production model. CAR reports plans to develop it have been shelved.

Cost of platform development was said to have been prohibitive, with a lot of expense needed to get the Rocketman to meet safety regulations. What’s more is that the Rocketman supposedly had problems with “stability, handling and crash performance.” Issues maybe, but they shouldn’t be insurmountable. We aren’t really buying that. What about VW and the Up! minicar?

They made it work. It could be just down to a lack of projected sales – they didn’t justify the expense. While the Rocketman has been killed, CAR says a host of other MINI models have been approved. Other sources have said the Rocketman will heavily influence the styling of MINI’s next-generation products. Based on spy shots, the interior of the next-generation standard MINI will be getting a much more traditional look a. As far as new models, what could be next? A four-door sedan? Who knows. The only thing for sure is that BMW has big plans for MINI. It is a key part of BMW’s plan to boost growth in the years ahead.

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