• Feb 3rd 2008 at 4:41PM
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People are already comparing the new Smart with old microcars like the Iso (and BMW) Isetta, so it makes sense that BMW would consider producing a challenger using the old, but not forgotten, marque. Reports indicate that this is a distinct possibility. In an ironic twist, BMW may consider producing the microcar to offset their large luxury-performance cars to comply with upcoming European CO2 regulations. Back when the Isetta was initially launched, the profits from that model are what allowed BMW to branch into the large car market in the first place. How the times have changed!

Although the Smart is a thoroughly modern version of the microcar concept, the Isetta would draw a more retro profile. Hey, it's worked for BMW before - their Mini brand sets a fine pattern but is a tough act to follow. BMW has a great deal of experience making small and reliable motors for their line of motorcycles, so creating a suitable powerplant might not be a problem. Diesel engines would be a near lock for the European market, but no hybrid is planned for the States. Instead, a small turbocharged gasoline engine would likely be on the menu. If these reports prove accurate, retro and modern will go head-to-head once again in the microcar market, leading to more choices for the consumer.

[Source: Auto Express]

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