• Apr 30, 2008
This latest rendering of the long-rumored return of the Isetta brand, an offshoot of BMW, looks much more modern than any previous rendering that we've seen of the rolling mini-retro-mobile. According to the accompanying report on Autocar, the rear-engined zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) has indeed been approved by BMW, though we've heard nothing truly official as of yet. If true, the U.S. would be the likely first market to see the Isetta, possibly as early as 2012.
At this point, BMW is reportedly still deciding whether or not to offer both electric and internally-combusted versions of the new city car. BMW has quite a few small engines currently powering their line of motorcycles, and one of these engines could make an appearance in the rear of the vehicle. Possible powertrains also include a hybrid, natural gas or even fuel cell variants. Because of the high investment required to get the proposed vehicle off the ground, BMW could partner with Daimler-Benz which already offers its own tiny car under the smart brand. Rumors also link long-time BMW partner Manga Steyr to the project. Interestingly, the Canadian based auto parts giant has recently confirmed that they are working on hybrid vehicle development.

[Source: Autocar]


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  • 14 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      The earlier renderings suggested how you could update the Isetta look. But if that is not in play, no point in using the word Isetta in reference to this car. The overall shape is starting to look like all the others, smart, up, iQ, etc. Maybe that is inevitable, but this has nothing to do with Isetta.
      • 6 Years Ago
      How can a "rear-engined" (or any other "engined") car also be a "zero emissions vehicle"? Am I missing something, or are we now referring to electric motors as "engines"?
        • 6 Years Ago
        It is confusing, but it appears that BMW is considering multiple options: electric motors or gas/diesel engines.
        FTA: "Reithofer also said that BMW could have built just a few hundred cars to meet the US regulations but admitted that the company was also wondering if it could use the basic concept “not just for an electric car but also for a range of city cars”. These cars would use petrol and diesel motors, and could even feature BMW motorcycle engines."
        Your point does stand about motors vs. engines. The words are used interchangably (notice quote above); ever ask a boater why they call them "outboard motors" when they are clearly gas engines?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Engine

        Pronunciation: ˈen-jən
        Function: noun
        Definition: a machine for converting any of various forms of energy into mechanical force and motion
      • 6 Years Ago
      dude, that is PURE filth...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Retro? Please, can we stop with the Retro Crap! This is great, it's stylish, forward thinking, and doesn't look like the Erkle mobile. If we keep doing retro, that means that 80's designs might come back (God Help Us) and what are our kids going to have to drive in 20 years? Retro-retro cars? How about we encourage design progression and stop going back to what we "know".
      "Show me a man who is content with life, and I will show you a failure.
        • 6 Years Ago
        but it wouldnt make the same phychological connection people have with the sil-ooo-wet of the vehicle, because everyone cant see the badges. example, the 7 sreies is always large, square and huanched forward to look more aggresive, and to use the isseta name it would only make sense to use design cues from the classic bubble car
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ugg,
        They could also look at the logo on the front and the back of the car to recognize the brand of the vehicle.
        • 6 Years Ago
        improving upon an old design study or using some design cues is forward thinking and car designers do it all the time, how else do you think people will recongnize brands?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I hope it doesn't end up looking like that. I was thinking something much more retro. Bummer...
        • 6 Years Ago
        I, for one, would be glad. Retro is pointless nostalgia and pandering, and the Isetta was nothing to bring back anyway.
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