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Future models - Mini - Rocketman concept

Mini Rockets into the Olympics

Pocket rocket: Mini's Rocketman concept has been given a sporty makeover for the 2012 London Olympics.

The Mini Rocketman concept is back, this time to celebrate the London Olympics

Mini logo15 Jun 2012

By TIM NICHOLSON

MINI’S quirky Rocketman concept has been given a sporty makeover in celebration of the London Olympics, with features designed to emphasise its British roots.

Originally unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, the 2012 version is designed as a tribute to the upcoming summer Games, with sporty flourishes throughout the car.

The upper section of the seat bolsters is made from a rubberised material that is styled on high-performance sports textiles and shoes. A rucksack behind the front passenger seat is made from the same material.

Other Olympic-flavoured touches include a stowage compartment in the centre console that resembles a basketball court and features miniature players.

One of the more clever touches is the graphics used on the dashboard and door cards, with intricate lettering detailing the name of every host city in the modern Olympic Games era, with London gaining prominent billing.

The Union Jack features heavily in the car’s design, with red and white accents everywhere from the 18-inch alloy wheels and mirror caps to the boot opener and radiator grille.

39 center imageThe unusually designed tail-lights are shaped like handles and are operated using what Mini calls projector technology.

After being revealed at Geneva last year, the tiny concept did not make it into production. However, with this being its second showing in just over a year, the Rocketman may not be dead in the water just yet.

If the concept eventually makes it to production, it would fit below the Cooper S in Mini’s lineup as a new entrant in the prestige light-car segment.

Mini has faced challenges from a number of brands in recent years, with sales being stolen by the likes of the Fiat 500 and the new kid on the block, Audi’s A1, while new contenders on the horizon in Europe include the Aston Martin Cygnet.

The body of the Rocketman is made from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic.

It measures a little over three metres long, only slightly bigger than the original Mini, and the BMW-owned company claims the concept is designed for “driving fun in tight spaces”.

Other quirky features on the little Mini include double-hinged doors and a drawer below the tailgate to store cargo.

BMW is a major sponsor of the London Olympics and will show the Mini Rocketman at the BMW Group Pavilion, located near the Olympic and Paralympic Village in London.

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