BMW Motorrad C1 scooter  - front three-quarter studio viewDo you remember the BMW C1? The funky scooter from the German automaker has become something of a two-wheeled cult classic. The scooter made either 15 or 18 horsepower, depending on which model you got. But the most notable thing about the C1 was its futuristic windshield/roof combination and its emphasis on safety – with its integrated seatbelt, it was said to be so safe as to not require a helmet.

BMW got out of the scooter game when it ended production of the C1 in 2003, but it's poised to reemphasize that market in a big way. According to Bloomberg, BMW is looking to revive its scooter offerings, which already includes the C600 Sport and C650 GT. The lineup is set to be bolstered by the electric C Evolution e-Scooter.

BMW hinted at the return of the C1 a few years back with the C1-E concept (above, right), but it merely laid the groundwork from the e-Scooter.

This renewed focus may have something to do with rival Audi and its recent purchase of Ducati, as some are suggesting that the move has stoked BMW's desire to broaden its product portfolio to better compete with the Italian motorcycle builder.

If it's a piece of the city-dweller market that BMW is after, they may also have competition from niche automaker Smart. Daimler's urban specialist will introduce an electric version of its ForTwo city car later this year. Smart also makes a bicycle with electric propulsion that is available in Europe for around $3,500 (it's set to go on sale in the U.S. in 2014). This will be followed by an electric scooter.

Will BMW's renewed efforts in the scooter market be enough to fend off growing competition in the city vehicle market? Only time will tell.


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  • 20 Comments
      CarCrazy24
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sounds great as long as it goes faster than 20mph...it needs to be competitive with at least a 150cc scooter, doesn't need to be freeway worthy but at least go 50-60mph.
      inthelv
      • 2 Years Ago
      I never have understood the point of expensive scooters. They can barely get out of their own way once you put a human on board and they cost the same as a crap used car. Other than Vespas (which I get as a style statement) I'm just not a huge fan and feel sorry for the folks I see heading off to their late shift jobs on these here in Vegas.
        S.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @inthelv
        I just moved to Vegas, and I can't believe how many scooters there are! They are dangerously slow too...I feel scared for their riders.
        Fixitfixitstop
        • 2 Years Ago
        @inthelv
        A crap used car doesn't get ~50mpg and is harder to park.
      ggxarmy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Rejuvenate!?! the scooter business has been doing quite well, In fact go to any military post other than in Alaska and you will see TONS of Honda Ruckuses (Rucki?)
        ryanandrewmartin
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ggxarmy
        Every city I've been to in the past two years has been flooded with them. Quite well indeed.
        tump
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ggxarmy
        ggxarmy, they mean BMW's scooter business, not the scooter market.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        inthelv
        • 2 Years Ago
        Wow, homophobic and nasty to boot. Mom must be so proud.
          purrpullberra
          • 2 Years Ago
          @inthelv
          JohnEnzo must be a fattie gay too since he's soooooo butt hurt about his obviously profoundly defunct body form. There is no other reason to write like he/she/it. Sorry to burst your bubble heshe
      The Wasp
      • 2 Years Ago
      How does bringing back a quirky, really expensive scooter help BMW compete with Audi/Ducati?
        • 2 Years Ago
        @The Wasp
        [blocked]
      Trent
      • 2 Years Ago
      Do Americans that work 5 miles from their office really need a $50k car? More people are finding less expensive ways to operate in this economy like walking, the bus or even a bike. For someone considering one of these choices a scooter is a very viable option. Some speak of how slow they are but any of these new offerings would get the rider their before their automotive counterpart in states that allow lane sharing and HOV like CA. I think the top speed on these new 600 and 650s are just over 100 MPH.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Trent
        [blocked]
      Space
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm still just gonna buy a ruckus.
      ryanandrewmartin
      • 2 Years Ago
      Offer me something <$1.5k and I might give it a look otherwise, I'm not interested. Besides, doesn't Vespa/Piaggio already kind of dominate the high end scooter market?
      Jason Krumvieda
      • 2 Years Ago
      A/B sure does love the BeeEmmDubya's, that or It is a slow news month. Where was the story that the new Escape lost the XLT trim line but it was OK for the news story about the BMW's losing the "is" in favor of the mighty M?
      Bill Walker
      • 2 Years Ago
      "This renewed focus may have something to do with rival Audi and its recent purchase of Ducati, as some are suggesting that the move has stoked BMW's desire to broaden its product portfolio to better compete with the Italian motorcycle builder." Ducati doesn't make scooters. BMW has been making motorcycles longer than they've been making cars. BMW Motorrad sold 69,329 motorcycles in the first HALF of 2012. I couldn't find Ducati figures for the same period, but they sold 42,200 bikes in ALL of 2011.
      Julio B
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is old news, in November 2011 BMW introduced the C650 GT and the C600. There are some reviews on the web. http://www.bmwblog.com/2012/05/18/ride-test-2013-bmw-c600-scooter/
      fibbs
      • 2 Years Ago
      Can't wait BMW will no doubt charge more than the price of a small car for one of these.
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