Mini Rocketman concept packs 3D display and is made of bits of paper
Desperate to keep weight to a minimum, Mini's turned to carbon fibre, aluminium and the bog-standard bits of mushed up tree you'd normally find in a child's notebook.
The Mini Rocketman concept is made of bits of paper -- we kid you not. While other manufacturers are turning to lightweight carbon fibre to keep weight down, Mini's looked to the bog-standard bits of mushed up tree you'd normally find making a library a major fire hazard.
Thankfully, Mini's refrained from using paper on structurally important bits of the Rocketman -- the bodywork is made from metal, so it won't go soggy in the rain. Inside, however, there's bags of the stuff. Paper, crinkled in attractive accordion-style hill and valley shapes and backlit by glowing LEDs, lines the gap between the windscreen and dashboard, the door pods and the gap between the windows and door frame.
It sounds rather ill-advised, but it works. The backlit paper looks fabulous and adds proper class to the interior.
The rest of the car is full of clever touches, too -- particularly the double-hinged doors. These open from one hinge, mounted at the forward-most portion of each door, while a second hinge -- mounted towards the centre of the door itself -- opens to push the door further away from the car, providing acres of space to get in and out.
The car's luggage storage system is equally bonkers. The Rocketman has a normal boot, as well as a funky drawer that slides out for easy access. The drawer has special mounts that allow you to carry large items such as a bicycle or snowboard. Larger items can be squeezed into the rear of the car thanks to the massive rear hatch, which is hinged near the centre of the roof.
Mini's designers have ramped up the craziness for the car's interior, too. The car's guidance and entertainment system is controlled via a high-resolution 3D display mounted in the centre of the dash. This displays key vehicle information -- speed, settings and so on -- as well as navigation data, which can be pre-programmed into a mobile phone before leaving the house and passed automatically to the car's own sat-nav system when you're ready to set off.
We love the Rocketman, but Mini believes it's a little too mental to work in the real world. As a result, the car will remain a concept, but there's every chance some elements -- the trick boot, phone-to-sat-nav data transfer and double-hinged doors -- could make their way into future production Minis.
While we wait for this bad boy to become reality, have a gander through our photos in the gallery above.