A common joke these days is that a Mini can be anything but mini. Market demands made the model grow, receive two additional doors, become a coupé, a roadster, and even SUVs. The mini part of Mini was missing until the Rocketman concept appeared in 2011. But the business case never made sense until now. According to Autocar, the car will be put for sale, but not until 2022.
In the article written by Greg Kable – the man behind the uncovered pictures of the new VW ID.3 – we learn that what changed was a new partner for BMW: Great Wall.
The German carmaker made a joint-venture with the Chinese company exactly one year ago yesterday – call that a coincidence. Named Spotlight Automotive, the joint-venture has the goal of producing Mini electric vehicles in China. We just did not imagine the new tiny Mini was among them at that time.
The production Rocketman will be mostly based on Ora R1’s electric platform. The Chinese electric car is 137.6 inches (3.50 m) long, 65.4 in (1.66 m) wide, 61.4 in (1.56 m) tall and has a 97.4 in (2.48 m) wheelbase, more or less the same dimensions the Rocketman presented.
If the R1 is a good reference for us to anticipate what the mini Mini will offer, it will probably have a 33 kWh battery pack with an NEDC range of 194 miles, which is more than the recently released Mini Cooper SE. It has a 32.6 kWh pack that provides a 167.7 mi NEDC range at best.
The Ora R1 is an affordable little electric car that seats four people and reaches a top speed of 64 mph. We can expect the Rocketman – or whatever name Mini chooses for it – will be faster and more expensive, and perhaps could offer the unusual three-seating arrangement of the concept.
The little Mini will be produced solely in China – more precisely in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu province – and exported to the whole world.