Concepts : MINI Rocketman revisited
The MINI Rocketman Concept caused quite a stir at the Geneva Motor Show 2011. The 3+1-seater, with its three doors and an exterior length of just over three metres, offers a very contemporary take on the ‘creative use of space’ principle that’s considered a Mini core value from days gone by. The MINI Rocketman Concept’s spaceframe is made from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic, enabling a lightweight construction. Its innovative interior concept accommodates three full-size seats and an extra seat suitable for short journeys.
The new MINI Rocketman Concept wears its British heritage on its sleeve, most prominently in its exterior and interior colour schemes. The colours of the Union Flag are used outside and inside of the car, red and white accents accompanying the dominant dark blue. The body’s non-metallic paintwork is interspersed with exposed carbon components at the front end and around the doors. And the 18in light-alloy wheels have white polished areas and a metallic red accent. Matt Porcelain White paintwork is also used for the mirror caps, boot opener and surrounds for the radiator grille and headlights.
The grille structure is made up of MINI logos. A red strip emphasises the path of the hallmark MINI diagonal link between the wheel arch and door at the foot of the A-pillar. The two-section split boot opening consists of one upward-pivoting element and a second segment which extends out of the body in the form of a drawer – and which is also painted blue on the inside in the new MINI Rocketman Concept. The rear lights have a trapezoidal stirrup design and work using projector technology.
The inner door panels and rear side sections are trimmed in dark blue nubuck leather, while the familiar MINI elliptical door rings provide an effective contrast with their white leather. The circular surrounds for features such as the air vents, door pulls and stereo speakers, are split into two sections and consist of a red inner ring and white outer ring.
The exposed carbon elements in the interior accentuate the MINI Rocketman Concept’s high-tech character and are incorporated into its colour scheme. The most distinctive element of the dashboard is the cockpit surface, which is bordered by a red bar and has a striking 3D effect. Its relief structure depicts the name of every host city of the summer Olympic Games in the modern era using artistically intricate lettering, with London given particularly prominent billing.
The key fob for the new concept car, meanwhile, comes in the form of a rocket decked out in British national colours. Other interior features include a rucksack attached behind the front passenger seat, which is made from the same rubberised material used for the seat bolsters and also sports the three-dimensional cockpit motif.