2022 Mini Rocketman EV, Slowest Car and Automotive Rock n’ Roll [Ask Nathan]

Can the 2022 Mini Rocketman EV save Mini?

Nathan and The Fast Lane Car team are here to answer your (reasonable) questions. Interesting and/or entertaining emails will be posted to this column. If it’s relevant in the automotive universe, there’s a chance we may know something about it. The author’s email address and full name will be omitted – leaving your first name, initials or nickname, your preference. 

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • What’s up with the 2022 Mini Rocketman EV?  
  • What’s the slowest car you’ve tested?
  • Automotive Rock!

This first question comes from a Mini owner who’s concerned about the company and wants to know if the 2022 Mini Rocketman EV is for real.

This is the popular, but never built Mini Rocketman concept. We expect the Rocketman EV to be similar – if they build it. (Photo: Mini)

Q: Via Twitter (@NathanAdlen): What’s up cue ball?

I love my 2011 Mini S but I see these bulbous ugly Minis and I think the company is about to die. Also is the Rocketman electric for real?


Mini Rocketman concept [Photo: Mini]

A: Hi!

According to many sources, including an article by insideevs.com, Mini/BMW and China’s Great Wall are putting together a co developed 2021 Mini Rocketman EV – based on the Ora R1’s platform.

Great Wall’s Ora R1 is a small, four-door EV that resembles small cars from the 1960s.

Interestingly, the Ora R1 and Rocketman concept have similar exterior dimensions. It’s a pretty good chance that the Rocketman EV will have similar measurements. That means a (it could have an approximate) 137.6 inch long overall length, 65.4 in width, a 61.4 in height and a 97.4 in wheelbase.

To put that in to perspective, it could be up to two feet shorter than the Honda Fit.

Chinese advertising for the Ora R1. [Photo: Great Wall Automobile]

Using the Ora R1’s current layout, we can have a guess at what the 2022 Mini Rocketman EV could be packing.

  • It’s possible it could have a 33 kWh battery pack which will offer a maximum range of 194 miles.
  • SAE 2 – level charging
  • A 64 mph top speed and a 47 horsepower motor that makes 92.2 lbs-feet of torque.

Keep in mind: all of this is speculation based on a vehicle that may share its platform and components with the Rocketman. I suspect, BMW/Mini and Mini fanboys will want more power and a higher top speed – at the very least.

Ora R1 platform.
[Photo: Great Wall Automobile]

One final note: The electric Mini Cooper SE just came out and it is a completely different animal. It’s difficult to see how there’s a business case for both vehicles to exist at the same time. That is, unless Mini is dedicating more resources to building a larger line of EVs.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.


The next question comes from a fan who wants to know what the slowest cars we’ve driven are. “Slowest” doesn’t necessarily mean “worst.” Well… yea, I guess it does more often than not.

smart electric 2014
The gas version of the Smart ForTwo is terribly slow up at high elevation.
[Photo: TFLcar]

Q: I love watching your videos and enjoy reading the Ask Nathan weekly too!

My question is, what are some of the slowest new cars you’ve tested? Are you of the mind that slow cars are bad? I’m curious.


Daresbury, England

[Photo: Mitsubishi]

A: Greetings and thanks for the email!

The three slowest (newer) cars I have tested here in Colorado are the Mitsubishi Mirage (with the CVT), 2011 Smart ForTwo and the Subaru Impreza (with the CVT).

Our very slowest cars (ironically) are the two we own. The 1971 Beetle and the 1987 Suzuki Samurai.

To answer your question about slow being bad, it’s not always the case. My Suzuki (which I bought from TFLcar) is SO slow, I can’t even get it to 60 mph in a majority of Denver, Colorado. I still adore it.

As for newer cars? Well, I feel that too slow is a bit dangerous. It’s my hope that most cars can crack 0 to 60 mph in less than 10 seconds – even at high elevation. Considering how fast traffic moves on our major highways, slow merging speeds can be dangerous..

In my case, I have to avoid most highways in the Suzuki to prevent being kicked like a football.


Photo: Warner Brothers

The last question comes from a viewer who is curious about my automotive musical choices.

I love all kinds of music – but this band is my favorite. I also feel that Rush has great tunes to drive to. Yep, it’s subjective – but you asked! (Image: Rush)

Q: Via Twitter @NathanAdlen) Quick quiz hotshot: Top Ten Songs for a Track Day.

David N

A: Hi David!

While I love all kinds of music, I’m a rocker to the core. Hard rock, progressive rock, heavy metal and punk rock truly get my juices flowing for track days, boulder bashing, high speed runs and other stuff… like changing diapers.

I was intrigued by your request and I thumbed through my iPhone mixes. This is what I had playing before my most recent adventure. Mind you, it’s the first 10 songs. I hope this works for you.

This is what I found:

  • The Analogue Kid (Rush)
  • How Long (Tom Morello)
  • Rocker (AC/DC)
  • Breed (Nirvana)
  • The Mob Rules (Black Sabbath)
  • Deaf Forever (Motörhead)
  • Fire (Jimi Hendrix)
  • The Joker and the Thief (Wolfmother)
  • Helter Skelter (The Beatles)
  • Aces High (Iron Maiden)

Oh, as a bonus – I listened to this (among many other things) to cool down.

I know – right?

Let me know what some of you guys listen to for track days and such!

– N

Speaking speed a killer soundtrack… or, at least a killer stereo system.

From day one, The Fast Lane Car has made it our policy to answer as many questions and comments as we can. We get thousands of emails and comments and feel that, as part of a tight-knit automotive community, having an open dialogue with you keeps things fresh and exciting.Got a question for Nathan? Drop him a line at: asknathan@tflcar.com.

Nathan Adlen

Nathan AdlenEasily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism – Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.