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Rocketman to launch Mini forward

2011-02-24 07:57

CLEVER PACKAGE: The Rocketman’s double-hinged doors make ingress and egress easy for its three (or four, at a push) passengers.

Mini’s going, well, mini again, with the Rocketman.

The world’s most iconic small-car brand has prepared a concept car called the Rocketman for the Geneva auto show that is nearly half a metre shorter (only 3.41m, bumper-to-bumper) than Mini’s current Cooper hatchback.

It's made from a range of composite materials that point to the future of Mini design and has an interesting ‘3+1’ seating configuration and styling details such as grab-handle shaped tail lights and roof illumination diodes, arranged to trace the shape of the Union Jack.

The Mini’s tailgate can be adapted to user requirements and features a two-part construction, with one section attached to the roof (opening to a wide aperture) whilst the other slides from above the rear bumper line like an extended drawer.

ADAPTABLE SEATING

With its truncated overall length Mini designers have moved the individual front bucket seats as far back as possible to maximise legroom, with a single rear passenger seat behind the front passenger.

To access the second row accommodation, the front passenger seat moves forward, opening up access to the rear. Even with a single rear passenger in place, the front passenger’s legroom will not be reduced to a level less comfortable than the current Mini Cooper.

There's an option to carry a fourth passenger (behind the driver) for short journeys courtesy of a movable instrument cluster enabling the driver to move forward.

Mini has not divulged details about the Rocketman’s drivetrain other than stating that it will have strong sprinting ability and average fuel consumption in the range of three litres/100km, indicating some form of petrol-electric hybrid power.

More 2011 Geneva auto show reports.
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