"No sign of a mini MINI yet - but we're hopeful"

Does MINI's Vision Next 100 concept preview a truly compact MINI? Editor Graham Hope sincerely hopes so

Graham opinion mini

One of the most intriguing concepts of recent years previewed a car that has never made production and yet is still lusted after by many. I’m referring, of course, to the MINI Rocketman, which hinted at a baby model for the brand.

So many of you will have been heartened by the unveiling of the Vision Next 100 concept, which shows how MINI’s future could evolve in terms of design, connectivity and engineering.

It was abundantly clear that the idea of a smaller MINI was very much in designer Anders Warming’s thoughts when he created it. At 3,628mm, the new model is only 209mm longer than the Rocketman, and he was keen to tell me: ‘I wanted it to be a mini MINI, but I didn’t want it to be so small and compromised that we couldn’t fit four people. It is very space-efficient for its footprint.’

MINI Rocketman returns

Pressed further on what cues a production small MINI could take from the wildly styled Next 100, Warming was surprisingly candid. ‘All of them,’ he said, without hesitation. ‘This is to be seen as a small MINI. We are in the same segment of small, urban mobility [as the Rocketman].’

MINI Vision Next 100 concept - rear quarter

Warming’s enthusiasm for the idea was clear, but MINI boss Peter Schwarzenbauer was more cautious, explaining the concept’s electric drive was an issue.

‘We’re looking at it,’ he said. ‘But having an electric MINI means we need a certain size of car to put enough battery in it that it is worthwhile. So to have a Rocketman and then electrify it is technically extremely challenging. We don’t have a solution.’

Best electric cars

If you’re a glass-half-empty type of person, you might think that means a mini MINI is as far away as ever. But the mere fact it’s being looked at so closely makes me believe MINI hasn’t given up on this idea just yet. I, for one, sincerely hope not.

Do you think the Vision Next 100 concept previews a truly mini MINI? Let us know in the comments below...

Most Popular

Best motorhomes 2022: the top 5 picks for all budgets
Chausson motorhome
Tips & advice

Best motorhomes 2022: the top 5 picks for all budgets

In the market for a new motorhome? Here are our top-five recommendations...
18 May 2022
New all-electric Volkswagen Aero B saloon to rival Tesla Model 3
Volkswagen Aero B exclusive image - front

New all-electric Volkswagen Aero B saloon to rival Tesla Model 3

The new four-door VW Aero B EV could come with up to 435 miles of range and our exclusive images preview how it could look
20 May 2022
New Kia Niro EV prototype review
Kia Niro EV  prototype - front
Kia Niro

New Kia Niro EV prototype review

We get behind the wheel of a pre-production prototype version of the 201bhp Kia Niro EV
22 May 2022