• Nov 28, 2007
Auto Express is reporting that BMW is currently considering bringing back the Isetta, the three-wheel mini car with a door where the hood should be that achieved pop-culture celebrity status as the personal whip of Urkel on the sit-com Family Matters (did I just date myself?). Unlike the original, the modern interpretation will have four wheels and two doors on the sides (damn safety regulations), but it will retain the rear-engine layout of the original. While BMW has not corroborated any of this speculation, there are many reasons why resurrecting the Isetta would be a good move for the Munich-based automaker. For one, the minicar segment is a robust one around the world, especially Europe where the new Isetta would do battle with the Fiat 500, smart fortwo and Volkswagen's up! lineup. Secondly, the Isetta would be powered by a clean engine that, coupled with its light weight, would yield the most eco-friendly BMW of them all. Its inclusion in the propellor's line up would serve to bring down the average emissions of BMW's entire fleet. Finally, the Isetta brand is eminently bankable thanks to the cult status it's achieved in car culture and the generally fun and jolly nature of the original. Hopefully, however, Urkel didn't damage the brand too much back in the '90s.

[Source: Auto Express]


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  • 21 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think this is great!
      Especially to have another funky, fun, small car. This, along with the smart fortwo and Fiat 500 and hopefully VW Up! will help us to get over 'bigger is better' etc.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "BMW acquired a license to build the Isetta from it's ITALIAN inventor, Iso...." "Three or narrow-track four wheeled setup. British produced Isettas (1957-1964) added full CONVERTIBLE AND PICKUP styles."

      And the "Feds" that would close the loophole on this being considered as a motorcycle......are these the same people that consider the PT Cruiser to be a TRUCK? Yeah, they really jumped to close THAT loophole.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Messerschmitt... Need I say more? All it needs are some 42" super deep lip polycarbonate wheels and you'd be pimp stylenest!

      http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/4864/messerschmittkabinenrolxq6.jpg

      • 7 Years Ago
      I actually like the styling of this thing. it would be sweet if they just used the R-drivetrain with a 2 wheel swing-arm.
      • 7 Years Ago
      maybe it will have the door in the back, so we can all make jokes about the rear entry ;)
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yes! They need to bring back the front door though. I dont see how they could get it to pass safety tests that way but still. Here is my Isetta! www.IsettaBob.com
      • 7 Years Ago
      Is all good but I will wait for the M version to come out ;)
      • 7 Years Ago
      THE ORIGINAL ISETTA DESIGN SHOULD HAVE A CARBON FIBER BODY WITH INWHEEL ELECTRIC MOTORS ,AND A AIR COOLED
      ROTARY DIESEL ELECTRIC DRIVE TRAIN.. IT SHOULD ALSO HAVE THE ABILITY TO CONNECT TO A
      LENEAR INDUCTION ROADBED.
      THE ROADBED MAY BE 50 YEARS OFF BUT IT WILL COME.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If you're ever in Greenville, SC, they have some sweet Isettas in the BMW Zentrum museum.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Besides the mistake that Isettas were 3-wheeled (most of them had 4 wheels), there is also the point that three-wheeled vehicles are considered motorcycles in the US and don't need to meet crash standards....

      As an aside, my mom learned to drive in an Isetta....

      Chris.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This sorta makes sense if this is how BMW intends on reusing the MINI platform under their own brand, a rumor that's been floating around for a few months. That of course makes the front door not doable since the motor'll be in the way. But there were 4-normal-wheels Isettas (600) with side doors, though as back doors, not replacing the front one.

      But even if this happens, we won't see it in the US, not because of safety or whatever issues, but because BMWNA is so pig-headed about not wanting to sell
        • 7 Years Ago
        Probably right. BMW has it in its head that offering anything less than an inline six will damage its brand on our fair shores.

        Personally, I say pffft to that. The 2002 had a four-banger, and BMW's core is built around driving and handling, not luxury and exclusivity (though it's not like they are the only ones to veer sharply in that direction).

        Let's get a diesel over here first. Then 123d with the twin-turbo 4-cyl diesel. Then, maybe, we'll see the Isetta.
        • 7 Years Ago
        When my dad had a used car lot back in the early sixties, we had a 600 on the lot and it was a fun drive. The funkier they are the more I like em. We had one customer who resupplied gumball machines who bought crapped out 600's and towed them like trailers. Yes, they were filled with bubble gum. Oh, and the guy made a million bucks or more doing this!

        The modernized one shown is wonderful eye candy. Bring me one, Santa.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Isetta is not a three-wheeler!
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