Remember the Mini Rocketman concept (pictured) from way back in 2011?
It premiered at the Geneva Motor Show that year, and ever since, the entry-level has been in the automotive industry’s equivalent of development hell.
In September, we reported that BMW was looking for a partner to develop the car’s purpose-built platform, as taking on the project on its own would put a serious drain on the automaker’s bank accounts. There were rumblings that Toyota was that partner back then, and now a new report by German news outlet Autobild furthers those claims.
The dispatch states that Rocketman will surface in 2018 or 2019 under the nameplate Mini Minor, a throwback to the Morris Mini-Minor of the early 1960s. The sticker price is rumored to be around €13,500, which is approximately $15,200 in America.
The current base model Mini, the Hardtop 2-door, starts at $20,700 for 2015. That’s a sizable gap between it and the Minor, which could bring the lineup back to its roots and give the brand some room to breathe. Toyota may also develop its own version called the Starlet.
Although we don’t have any new updates at this time, BMW and Toyota’s collaborative sports car platform is still underway.
That framework may spawn a next-generation BMW Z4 and Toyota Supra, which was loosely previewed by the FT-1 concept. Both cars will remain rear-wheel drive, however all-wheel drive will likely be available on upper trims as well.
As far as engines go, a BMW-sourced straight six or a hybrid four-cylinder from Toyota are both options. The vehicles are expected to look radically different, with little to no shared bodywork between the two.