• Mar 19, 2008

BMW is taking the prospect of building city cars seriously with the launch of Project i. The new research and development unit of the Bavarian automaker is being established to look at alternative solutions for urban vehicles for use in metropolitan cores where access and emissions pose growing difficulties for conventional automobiles to operate.

Although BMW is not ruling out the possibility of launching a fourth brand based on the project's conclusions, it's waiting to see what those findings will be – anticipated to arrive no sooner than the first half of the next decade (by which time things may not be labeled iEverything anymore) – before it makes any decisions. In speaking with Automotive New Europe, chief executive Norbert Reithofer said his company would first determine what form its city cars would take, and then figure out if it would fit in to the BMW line-up, make a new MINI model or justify its own sub-brand. One thing's for sure, though: it won't be a Rolls-Royce.

[Source: Automotive News Europe]



I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 9 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      'Hello Dave'

      'Hello Hal'
      • 6 Years Ago
      Will they partner with Target stores?
      • 6 Years Ago
      These fools had the near perfect (4 passenger) city car in the original Mini when they bought out Rover.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "...established to look at alternative solutions for urban vehicles for use in metropolitan cores..."

      How about a BMW bus?
      • 6 Years Ago
      First half or the next decade? You may want to speed it up there BMW. Between CAFE requirements and European CO2 rules you need more fuel efficient cars NOW!
        • 6 Years Ago
        This new vehicle will be developed purely because BMW expects its MY2012 sales (all brands combined) in California to cross the 60,000 unit threshold at which the ZEV mandate requires a small percentage of vehicle sold in the state to be BEVs or FCVs.

        Most likely it will be smaller than the current Mini to minimize (Li-ion) battery specs and hence vehicle cost. In other markets, a version with a small gasoline engine will no doubt be available.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Mitsubishi already has a city car called the "i". Just started selling in Europe no less.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I=Isetta?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Couldn't agree more.