Mini Plans All-Electric Vehicle And Mazda MX-5 Competitor
Nothing is promised, but Mini could expand lineup with Superleggera & Rocketmanby Robert Moore, on
Mini is an interesting low-volume brand and every model pretty much looks the same. In all honesty, you can’t mistake any of them for anything but a Mini. In the past few years or so, Mini has released a few different concepts that may lead to the brand changing for the better. Remember the 2011 Mini Rocketman Concept and the 2012 Mini Rocketman Olympic Concept? Or how about the 2014 Mini Superleggera concept? Well, those concepts might make it into production after all.
According to Autocar, Mini product chief Ralph Mahler has said the brand was looking at whether a small car like the Rocketman could be worth producing, and that that brand had “nothing against” making a smaller model like it in the future. In case you don’t know, the Rocketman is essentially a miniature Mini Cooper that measured just under 10.5 feet in length. Here’s the kicker, though: the Rocketman could go into production as an all-electric vehicle. Wait, what?
Mahler said, “The Rocketman is inspiring us as of today, especially as an EV in the future. It was something that was ahead of its time but is still inspiring. 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.” If this does end up playing out, Mini would probably tap into BMW’s i brand for the technology to make it happen.
What’s more, is that the brand is also being “inspired” by the 2014 Mini Superleggera. It’s not exactly likely at this point, but the brand has gotten overall positive feedback from the concept. If the Superleggera did go into production, it would compete against the likes of the Mazda MX-5, but Mahler has admitted that the “roadster segment is small, and demand is going down.” That said, it is inspiring the brand, and it is a possibility, but the brand hasn’t made any decisions about putting the concept into production as of yet.
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Why it matters
It would be interesting to see Mini step into the all-electric market with the Rocketman, and even more interesting to see the Superleggera go into production. Of course, the Rocketman looks just like all of Mini’s other models, but the Superleggera would at least bring something a little different to the lineup. That is Mini’s biggest problem – the brand is far from creative. The biggest different right now between all of its models are size, and that just doesn’t work well. I think the brand needs to get more creative and come up with new designs. In fact, the Superleggera would be a good start. I hope the brand goes for it. I would like to see how something like the Superleggera would fare in the roadster market.
Read our full review on the Mini Rocketman here.
Read our full review on the Mini Superleggera Vision here.