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by Jay Traugott
The Rocketman Concept is back just in time for the London 2012 Olympic games.
Although MINI has reportedly pulled the plug on developing a production version of the Rocketman Concept, that doesn't mean the car is dead completely. The automaker has just today revealed an updated Rocketman Concept specifically for the London 2012 Olympic Summer Games. Although it's mechanically identical to the first concept that premiered at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, MINI has given this second coming a new paint inside and out.
Now wearing the colors of the British national flag, the Union Jack, the body's non-metallic paintwork is interspersed with exposed carbon components up front and around the doors. In addition, there are 18-inch alloy wheels featuring white polished areas and a metallic red accent. This concept also has a full-surface glass roof whose illuminated braces have the same look as the British flag. These colors continue on the inside with the inner door panels and rear side section trimmed in dark blue nubuck leather and the circular air vents, door pulls and stereo speakers are actually split into two sections with a red inner ring and white outer one.
Overall, we dig the Rocketman's new look, but our biggest question is: why now and why the Rocketman? MINI could have easily applied this paint job to any of their existing models and would have achieved the same amount of publicity. Our best guess is that the Rocketman could potentially have been revived for a few reasons. One is that brands such as Audi and BMW are investing heavily in the development of city cars and that the Audi A2 may not even be an EV at all. BMW will still launch the i3, but further city car EV development has been halted.
And two, MINI's parent company, BMW, may have simply decided to reverse course in light of new circumstances. The Rocketman Concept is also incredibly light thanks to its carbon fiber reinforced spaceframe, so the thought of adding a small gasoline engine may not be such a bad idea after all.