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Mike Stevens | Nov, 29 2013 | 2 Comments

MINI USA product boss Pat McKenna has confirmed that there's huge interest in a properly mini model, but there's a problem.

Speaking with AutoGuide at this week's LA Auto Show, McKenna said that while a model inspired by the pocket-sized Rocketman concept would be ideal, the brand has no existing platform to build it on.

McKenna said that the new 2014 Cooper's UKL platform can't be downsized to suit a smaller model, and the company is unlikely to develop a new platform for only one or two models.

That means that the Rocketman's only hope lies in a partnership with another carmaker, a mission that MINI has been on since the Rocketman first appeared in 2011.

MINI won't take just any platform, however. McKenna says that, due to the brand's "emphasis on driving performance", a suitable existing architecture in the city-car market has yet to be found.

He added that the brand hasn't given up searching: “We see some potential for that car in this market (the US), and the rest of the world has an even higher demand.”

MINI may find its answer with parent BMW, thanks to its technology and platform partnership with Toyota.

The two companies have confirmed plans for a large sports-car architecture; could a new city-car architecture also appear?

Time will tell, but as a genuinely mini MINI, the Rocketman might just be the ticket to winning back many of the brand's traditional fans.

 
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