The Olympic Games. On the surface, a chance for the nations of the world to come together and unite through friendly, competitive sport. In reality, a platform for worldwide brands to market their wares under the guise of sponsoring world unity. Either way, the summer games only come around every four years, so they’re kind of a big deal, especially for the hosting city. Which is why the designers at Mini, the quintessentially British motoring icon, have been allowed to dust off the Rocketman concept from last year’s Geneva show and redecorate it in tribute to Great Britain’s capital city and 2012 Olympic host, London.
As you might expect, “Britishness” abounds, from the red, white and blue color scheme pulled from the Union Jack to the use of nubuck leather for the interior trim. There’s also a tribute to past Olympics in the printed door panel inserts. Some of the details, however, are a bit of a stretch. The center console storage bin, for instance, contains what can best be described as a diorama for that most British of sports, basketball. And then there’s the key fob in the shape of another distinctly British icon, the rocket.
While the design inspirations sound like they could just as well work for an American-themed concept, there’s no doubt the Rocketman is a true Brit. For starters, the compact “3+1” city car is essentially the same size as the original Mini that helped put the nation on wheels after the lean years following WWII. And if that’s too subtle for you, the roof contains an embedded, light-up Union Jack flag. Still sounds more Vegas that Blighty, but we’ll let it slide in the spirit of The Games.