• Feb 4, 2008

Over recent months a collage of rumors surrounding a fourth brand under the BMW umbrella have been circulating, which may now be coming into clearer focus. With government fuel economy and emissions standards tightening both in the US and abroad, BMW, like other carmakers, is being forced to develop more earth-conscious vehicles to offset the fire-breathing monsters from their M division and the behemoths from Rolls-Royce.

The answer may be to go after arch-rival Daimler's smart brand, but rather than going super-modern, BMW is tipped to design its line-up of city cars around a retro theme. Isetta, which made tiny commuter cars in the 50's, has been touted as one strong possibility, more likely than the prospect of reviving Triumph into a smart rival when its roots are in roadsters. We reported on the Isetta rumor back in November, but according to AutoExpress, development of the new city-car is officially underway. Whatever badge the new BMW city cars would wear, insiders suggest that motivation would come from small turbocharged gasoline and diesel engines, while hybrids would be reserved for SUVs and other larger vehicles.

[Source: Auto Express]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why not make smaller Minis? You have an established brand which is well regarded world wide, to start a second small car brand makes no sense to me.
      • 6 Years Ago

      This is kind of depressing news.

      Micro cars, like the Isetta, were produced for the post apocalyptic world (post WWII) because resources and production facilities were practically nonexistent.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Will be interesting to see how this one pans out...
      • 6 Years Ago

      Ironically Isetta and Mini were competitors during the original fuel crisis. The chief of British Motor Corporation Sir Leonard Lord asked his chief engineer Alec Issigonis to develop a small car to take on foreign competitors like the Isetta. The result was the Mini. Today both brands are under the same owner BMW.
      • 6 Years Ago
      A smaller mini would be nice, something similar in size to the original mini. Now, the Isetta, if BMW can make one that's fairly priced, it'll be a hit.

      I wouldn't mind having these in my garage.

      1. Isetta
      2. Fiat 500
      3. Mini

      That'd be fun.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The dilution of the BMW brand continues. Hey guys, you're not GM or Toyota, and that's a good thing.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What? Make a small car smaller? That goes against the ethos of a modern carmaker. Every new model has to be bigger than the last. See the size of the Golf, 3-series and Civic as examples of this.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That has to do a lot with America, where the simplest solution to more sales is to make it bigger, heavier, and XXL-sized cupholders.

        Frankly, I'm suprised that no carmaker has added pullout luncheon trays yet!
      • 6 Years Ago

      narf, Rolls Royce has had "pull out luncheon trays" for rear passengers for generations :-)
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm willing to bet the farm that a Mini the size of the original would not be able to seat one person if the crash structure were to meet modern standards, let alone be nearly as roomy as the original.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Imagine an Bangle designed Isetta 35i w/225hp and all that high tech crap that makes the 1 series so affordable. Where do I send my deposit....?
      • 6 Years Ago
      BMW, whatever you do, please don't make a Isetta Clubman! :D
      I'm okay with a JCW Isetta though. :P