With the announcement of the Mini Cooper SE, Mini has been given the ok to create a production version of the Mini Rocketman concept from 2011. It will happen thanks to a joint venture with BMW and Great Wall Motors called Spotlight Automotive.
A senior BMW official spoke with Autocar and told them "“We’re advancing plans for a model along the lines of the Rocketman. It’s a car we have been looking at for a long time, but to build it profitably at the price point we think customers are prepared to pay, you need a joint venture partner to share costs. Great Wall Motors has provided that opportunity with a shared electric car platform that will be used by Mini.”
In terms of the specs for the Rocketman, BMW hasn't made anything official but Autocar expects there to be similarities with the Ora R1 that Great Wall Motors makes.
Nothing has been made official at this stage, though the production version of the Rocketman is expected to share its underpinnings and key elements of its electric driveline with the Ora R1 – a compact hatchback launched by Great Wall Motors’ new Ora electric vehicle sub-brand in 2018. At 3495mm in length, 1669mm in width and 1530mm in height, the R1 is similar in dimensions to the 2011 Rocketman concept. It is powered by a front-mounted electric motor developing 47bhp and 92lb ft of torque. Energy is provided by a standard 30.7kWh or optional 33kWh lithium-ion battery, providing the price leading Ora model with an official range of 310km and 351km respectively.
even just considering BMW's competition alone, without making these changes to the SE it won't last long and see poor sales
This should be a promising sign for Mini. BMW is expected to offer 25 different electrified vehicles by 2023 (13 EVs and 12 Hybrids) according to Automobile Magazine. Here's what they wrote about Mini.
In addition to the Mini SE, which is based on the current Hardtop and goes on sale early next year, and the inevitable engineless Phantom, the BMW Groupís electric cars also include the all-new Mini being developed under the Project Grizzly banner in concert with Chinaís Great Wall Motors. Contrary to earlier reports, it appears that management has since black-flagged the internal-combustion versions in favor of an all-electric model range. Due in 2023, we expect a super-short-wheelbase MiniMini, a more compact and prettier replacement for the mainstay three-door version, and a Mini crossover. All three are said to be FWD, use a skateboard-style chassis, and offer a choice of 35- or 50-kWh battery packs.