A couple of weeks back we posted some sketches of the upcoming MINI Scooter E Concept and, as expected, BMW revealed their new sub-branded two-wheeler at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. BMW states, “The MINI Scooter E Concept is an innovative new vehicle that combines the agility and brio of a two wheeler with zero-emissions sustainability through its electric power plant.” It’s also another way to show off the “fun” of the MINI brand and hopefully attracting a young audience. The fact that the concept shows off many of the same customization options found in MINI automobiles should help that as well.
The concept’s “engine” is an electric motor mounted in the rear wheel hub powered by a lithium-ion battery which can be recharged by a conventional power socket using an on-board charging cable. The new machine is shown in a two-up version and a sporty single seater. The overall design borrows many design cues from its four-wheeled brothers — the proportion of the body and small 11-inch rims is reminiscent of the original MINI.
An unusual feature of the MINI Scooter E Concept is the center circular speedo (like other MINIs) but with an integrated smartphone dock. The smartphone snaps into an adapter and functions as the vehicle key, display and central control element. BMW says, “As soon as the rider docks his mobile phone and switches it on, the vehicle is ready to go. This configuration in the MINI Scooter E Concept yields new initiatives for integrating “infotainment,” communication and navigation functions in a two-wheeler. While the scooter is in motion, the smartphone can be used as a navigation system, music player or telephone as required. A wireless Bluetooth interface can be connected to a helmet from the MINI Collection. This is fitted with a microphone and headphones so that riders are able to use the telephone function or access their personal music collection while on the road.” We’ll leave it to your comments to discuss whether an infotainment system is a good idea while riding.
Another feature of the concept is the center aluminum rail which extends from handlebar to floorboard. This rail is a universal mounting system first seen on the MINI Countryman. Personalized accessories such as holders for a helmet, umbrella, sunglasses or thermos can be clipped on. A specially designed music player, calendar, stopwatch and tea cups can also be attached.
The MINI Scooter E Concept is definitely fun and shows some interesting ideas which may find their way onto BMW motorcycles. The question remains though, will this concept go into mass production?