By Drew Johnson
Monday, Jan 23rd, 2012 @ 6:19 pm
 
BMW's MINI brand has reportedly canceled plans for a production version of its Rocketman concept. Internally known as the mini MINI, the Rocketman's small size ultimately led to its demise.

The Rocketman was believed to be on schedule for a 2016 market launch, but prohibitive costs related to the car's diminutive size have doomed the entire project. According to Car Magazine, BMW pulled the plug on the project after it became clear that it would be far too expensive to design the city car's shrunken MINI platform to meet stability, handling and crash regulations.

Introduced at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, the Rocketman stretched a total of 134.6 inches - just barely longer than the wheelbase of a Chevrolet Suburban. The Rocketman would have slotted beneath the Cooper in the MINI lineup, offering city commuters a MINI more in-line with the brand's original roots.

Although the Rocketman won't make production in its current form, it remains possible MINI could eventually offer a true city car. As the 106-inch Smart Fortwo shows, a microcar is possible, but requires a platform designed as such from the onset. BMW doesn't have any current plans to produce a new small car platform on its own or with partner, but it's a possibility that can't be completely ruled out.