The Mini Rocketman concept caused quite a stir at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show 2011, as a new look at inner-city mobility.
Just over three metres long, with a carbon-fibre frame, three doors, three full-sized seats and an 'occasional' extra seat for the short of inseam on equally short journeys, it was cute, clever and fun - all the things Alec Issigonis was trying for when he penned the original Mini in 1959.
Now Mini has re-invented the Rocketman for the 2012 London Olympics, with classically British styling, inside and out - although it's notable that the 'London' version is still left-hand drive!
The colours of the British national flag, the Union Jack, are brought out with red and white accents accentuating the dominant dark blue, and highlighted by exposed carbon-fibre components at the front and around the doors, and matte white paint for the the mirror caps, boot opener, and grille and headlight trims.
Even the 18” alloy rims have white polished areas and a metallic red accent.
The grille is made up of Mini logos, finished in metallic red with a white surround, and a red stripe emphasises the signature Mini diagonal seam between the wheel arch and door at the bottom of the A pillar, at the same time making a feature of the door hinges.
The split boot opening has an upward-opening section and another that slides open like a drawer, its interior painted dark blue to match the outside of the car.
The concept car has a full-surface glass roof with a metallic red rim and braces tracing out the Union Jack flag, lit up using optical fibre; even when the roof lighting isn't switched on, the white braces are still visible through the glass.
The Union Jack colour scheme continues inside with inner door panels and rear side sections trimmed in dark blue nubuck and the Mini's trademark door rings in white leather. The circular trims on the air vents, door pulls and speakers each have a red inner ring and white outer ring.
THE DETAILS ARE PURE FUN
The blue paint on the dashboard merges smoothly into dark carbon surfaces around the steering wheel, while cockpit surface is bordered by a red bar, embossed with the name of every host city of the modern-era Olympics since 1896.
The seat trims blend blue nubuck leather with textile fibre, while the upper sections of the side bolsters, are rubberised like sports clothing to provide extra grip and support. Even the seat belts are dark blue with thin red and white stripes, reminiscent of Guards' uniforms.
The details are pure fun: the stowage compartment on the centre console between the driver and front passenger symbolises a basketball court with miniature players and the key fob is shaped like a red, white and blue rocket. There's even a rucksack made of the same rubberised fabric as the seat bolster, slung behind the front passenger seat.
The Rocketman MKII concept will be on show in the BMW Pavilion near the Olympic Village during the Games.