Mike Stevens | Jan 24, 2012

Its place at the top of MINI design boss Anders Warming's wishlist hasn't been enough to keep the Rocketman concept from the chopping block, according to reports out of Europe this week.

Talk over the past year has focused on a rumoured 2016 production date for the city-car-sized concept, but if the UK's Car magazine is to be believed, the brand's BMW bosses have now put the kibosh on the idea.

The report points to the Rocketman's lilliputian proportions as the reason for its new home in the round file, with the challenge of meeting safety regulations - and making the car an enjoyable drive - driving development costs to prohibitive heights.

It had been speculated that rather than invest in a new architecture, BMW could look to establish a platform-sharing agreement with a partner carmaker.

At just 3419mm long, the Rocketman concept is more than 300mm shorter than the MINI Cooper, and nearly 200mm shorter than Suzuki's already tiny Alto city car. It is also more than 100mm shorter than Volkswagen's new Up! city car.

Last year, MINI Chief Designer Anders Warming said that while the Cooper Hatch is no giant, the Rocketman concept was aimed at helping BMW - MINI's owner since 1994 - claim "the true heritage of the brand".

Despite nixing the Rocketman, MINI has reportedly confirmed that it will launch three all-new models this decade - but what we can expect remains unclear.

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