If you ever noticed, most of the models offered by Mini today aren't exaclty mini in size.
However, it wasn't only the consumer that noticed Mini cars were actually getting bigger. In fact, even the British marque themselves noticed which is why back in 2011, Mini introduced the proper mini-sized Rocketman Concept. Unfortunately, the pint-sized Rocketman remained a concept and was never put into production.
However, that could soon change. Autocar UK recently reported that the Rocketman Concept could be built as a production model, making it the brand's first sub-compact city car. Moreso, the production model is expected to make its debut sometime in 2022 and will be built as a joint-collaboration with Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors.
“We’re advancing plans for a model along the lines of the Rocketman. It’s a car we have been looking at for a long time, but to build it profitably at the price point we think customers are prepared to pay, you need a joint venture partner to share costs. Great Wall Motors has provided that opportunity with a shared electric car platform that will be used by Mini,” a senior source at BMW Group told Autocar.
While there are no official details just yet, word is that the production Rocketman could share the same underpinnings as the Ora R1, an electric compact car built by Great Wall Motor's electric Ora sub-brand. The R1 features an electric motor mounted at the front which produces 47 horsepower and 125 Nm torque, and is available with a range of battery packs, giving it around 310 km to 351km of range.
Design wise, the Rocketman is expected to retain its three-door hatchback design as well as its compact size. The concept car measured in at 3419mm long, making it not much longer than the original 1959 Mini. However, it is wider at 1,907mm and stands 1,398mm tall. Interestingly, the Ora R1 is roughly the same size as the Rocketman, measuring in at 3,495 mm long, 1,669 mm wide and 1,530 mm tall. This makes it more likely that the two could share platforms.
If the Rocketman does enter production, it would be the second fully electric Mini behind the newly released Cooper SE. Considering the production Rocketman is expected to be built in China, it will likely be a model exclusive to the region.
Source: Autocar UK