Mini revives patriotic Rocketman

CHRIS HARRIS
Last updated 05:01 16/06/2012

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Another day, another Mini it seems, with BMW's famous British brand this week unveiling a patriotic version of its Rocketman concept to celebrate the 2012 London Olympic Games next month.

The latest iteration will revive hopes that the ''mini'' Mini project is still a going concern. The concept car that debuted at last year's Geneva motor show was believed to be on the scrap heap, but the reworking seems to suggest otherwise. BMW remains tight-lipped about the production reality of the pint-size car.

As a tribute to the host city, the Rocketman sports a Union Jack-inspired colour theme and new styling features throughout. Its most distinguishing feature is a revised glass roof with illuminated braces to recreate the Union Flag.

Carbon-fibre parts adorn the headlight surrounds and doors while black 18-inch wheels have polished sections and red pin striping.

The car's cabin features red, white and blue hues of nubuck leather, miniature figures playing basketball integrated into the armrest and the name of every summer Olympic host city displayed on the doors.

The three-door, 3+1 seater measures about 70cm shorter than the regular Mini hatch and uses a carbon-fibre-reinforced-plastic spaceframe chassis for reduced weight and added stiffness. The 3+1 configuration is designed to seat three occupants with an additional seat for occasional journeys, similar to BMW's 6-Series Gran Coupe 4+1 set-up.

The Mini family has grown to six following the recent addition of the Coupe and Roadster, while a smaller, three-door version of the Countryman SUV with a coupe-like roofline will be the seventh member.

The brand is also believed to be working on a five-door version of the Mini hatch.

As the exclusive vehicle provider of the 2012 London Olympic Games, BMW is also expected to unveil an advanced version of the i3 electric city car, from the company's new ‘i' sub-brand.

It features a new interior that adopts a greater use of sustainable, natural materials and is said to be very close to the production version that will hit European roads from late next year.

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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