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Filed under: Concept Cars, Geneva Motor Show, Hatchback, Mini, Design/Style

Mini Rocketman Concept - Click above for high-res image gallery

Mini's latest production car - the Countryman - may be the automaker's largest offering to date, but now the brand known for its pint-sized fighters is returning to its roots with its latest concept. But this isn't a preview of the next-generation Cooper - oh no, no, no - it's the Rocketman (cue Elton John). At just over 11 feet long, the bug-eyed little hatch is slightly shorter than a base Cooper hardtop and uses a unique three-plus-one interior seating arrangement. It isn't gonna be a long, long time before we see the Rocketman in person, either - the concept makes its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show next week.

In creating the Rocketman, Mini's main focus was to keep its petite body as light as possible. A carbon spaceframe makes up the main construction, and things like weight-saving wheels with an enclosed surface structure reduce drag to improve fuel economy. Speaking of economy, Mini says that the Rocketman is powered by "a drive system which combines further enhanced sprinting ability with average fuel consumption of just three liters per 100 kilometers (94 miles per gallon Imperial)" - about 78 mpg on the U.S. cycle. We don't have details about what exactly powers the Mini concept, but we'd bet our bottom dollar that there's some electrification involved.

The doors themselves are another bit of notable engineering. Upon opening, the doors pivot outwards complete with their sills, making ingress and egress to both the front and rear seats a breeze. From there, passengers are greeted with a three-plus-one seating concept, meaning that instead of a connectional bench seat in the rear, there is an individual chair behind the passenger seat. Behind the driver is a smaller seat where the backrest can be folded down to act as a storage surface. The interior is full of nifty, concept-spec LED lighting, and the latest in infotainment, including the auotmaker's Mini Connected system with three-dimensional graphics and a steering wheel-mounted joystick for easy operation.

Mini's Rocketman concept previews the future of small, urban mobility from the brand. This mini-Mini looks capable of retaining the automaker's core values of driver involvement with seemingly endless personalization, and we encourage you to see all of its ins and outs for yourself in our high-res gallery below. Mini's official press blast is available after the jump, as well.

Gallery: Mini Rocketman Concept

[Source: Mini]Continue reading Mini Rocketman Concept takes off ahead of Geneva debut

Mini Rocketman Concept takes off ahead of Geneva debut originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 22 Feb 2011 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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