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MINI Rocketman May Become an All-Electric Production Car

MINI is trying to stick with a smaller, more focused range of profitable cars. But the bosses of this BMW-owned British company can't keep their "greed" hidden for much longer, as they want something new to drive growth. That something could turn out to be the Rocketman, a little concept car that everybody took for dead.
MINI Rocketman 23 photos
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After making a cool concept and almost putting it into production, MINI changed its mind and said the Rocketman was a no-go. Apparently, it was too small and not profitable enough, angering many of the loyal fans who said the brand had fallen in love with big cars.

Fast forward to 2015 and the Rocketman is back on track, now becoming a plug-in hybrid with similar engines to the 2 Series Active Tourer and based on the UKL1 platform. Now, Autocar has talked to MINI product boss Ralph Mahler and he hints at something slightly different, an EV - all plug and no combustion.

While the Rocketman might find its way into a dealership eventually, the beautiful Superleggera roadster won't because the "roadster segment is small and demand is going down, with new markets opening up. The growth is not there, so it's always a challenge."

MINI was as much a pioneer of the EV market as BMW, launching a fleet of test cars at the same time as that chargeable 1 Seris Coupe. However, the car was never put into production. With battery technology advancing by the day, now is a great time to make a Rocketman electric car, especially since MINI vans are Eco-conscious.

Even though it could call on the expertise of the team that made the i3, MINI is in no hurry to make the Rocketman. Mahler says that "with a smaller car, it's a bigger challenge. With Rocketman, and talking EV in the future, as the EV engine gets more portable, it's give and take."

Where do you put the battery? How much power must it have and what sort of range is needed? MINI might also want to wait until Tesla launches the Model 3 and see what impact it has on the market.

 
 
 
 
 

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