Size does matter at Mini, even though the name suggests otherwise.
Executives at BMW's small-car brand have decided not to approve production of a car that's nearly a foot shorter than the Cooper hardtop.
Mini officials say that at 135 inches long, the Rocketman, shown as a concept at last year's Geneva auto show, is too small and wouldn't be profitable enough.
Executives said at the Detroit auto show this month that Mini usually puts the vehicles shown as concepts into production. But not this time. The Rocketman would have competed with the Smart ForTwo two-seat microcar.
The Rocketman was "very warmly received in the U.S.," said a Mini USA spokeswoman.
And all is not lost. "Some of the styling cues that were shown on the concept car may make it into future Mini production models," she said.
The next-generation Mini on an all-new BMW Group front-wheel-drive platform may get some of the Rocketman's features. Notable among those features were double-hinged frameless doors and a two-piece tailgate.