BMW CEO Confirms City Car

From Autoblog green and something we have been expecting for a while now.

This entire time, BMW was to decide on the fate of the city EV by the end of the year, and it seems that they have. BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer has confirmed that the Bavarian automaker will indeed go smaller, though we are not so sure it will wear the blue and white badge. Rather, the new vehicle could wear the Isetta badge made popular on microcars from the past. “It’ll be a car with a completely new look, with two engines available. One will be a very efficient combustion engine and the other will be a purely electric model,” says Reithofer.

This will be interesting to see and to see how well it performs against the MINI.

*The image above isn’t an official rendering. The final version of the car will surely look much more different. However you can see more information about it on it’s Flickr page.

[ BMW CEO Confirms City Car with Electric Option ]
  • Alex

    It is not BMW. It’s VW…. 🙂

  • Strange… I wanted to post this image to show the difference…


  • C4

    I think it has a greater resemblance to an Isetta.

    I like it. No doubt it will outperform the Smart in every conceivable way.

    The Smart is such a piece of junk is not even funny. Good move BMW.

  • JonPD

    I like it, I give BMW props for this gutsy step.

  • Jake

    great, they re-designed the MINI so they had to remake “The Italian Job” now they are going to have to remake Urkel.

  • It looks alot better than the smart car. I hope it performs better.

  • fdavid


  • b4mmy

    looks great 🙂

  • RocketMini

    I Like it! Motoring Badges needs to make a badge that says, Mini Cooper Escape Pod!

  • Hai

    I’m impressed!


    Expanding the brand is good, but this too butt ugly. Pretty narrow minded engineers and marketing pukes come with this?

  • Bear

    And the JCW version will be available when?

  • kevinn

    This will be the entry level MINI. Good move. Should help resale values of Mini’s by bringing in a younger market thus starting the addiction early.

  • GregW

    The new Isetta or as they used to call them – Bubble cars. Retro 1959. It looks like the Bangle team have used their flame effect on the sides, the E65 boot lid, with MINI mirrors. A bit of a mixture. Perhaps this car should be called the MICRO which is smaller than Mini.

  • GregW

    Alex – Looks the same to me….

  • MauiMac

    Am I looking at the same picture as the rest of you guys? Its face is good looking but what in the world happened to its back end? They should just pull the roof all the way to the back of the car so it looks more like the original (mini/smaller) Mini…

  • cze33r

    That’s so cool !!! I look forward to more updates.

  • VERY cool. I really hope that whatever BMW does decide to do with the Isetta, that it’s not a Europe-only thing. I hope that we get the Isetta in the States, too.

  • dr

    Maybe the SUV haters will leave the MINI community to buy isettas ……well one can hope!

  • SFRedMCc

    I like it; however, I really do hate the whole design trend to “bumperless” cars. It’s a joke for us city folk who have to parallel park and defend ourselves against those who park by “feeling” or “sounding” their way in. And I refuse to park behind an SUV, pickup, or especially behind anything with a trailer hitch.

  • JonPD

    Nice sour comment in the middle of a positive story dr

    Still have to say that I overwhelmingly think this car would outsell the R60. I base this on the sheer volume of Smart cars being sold, if a truly horrible mechanical mess like that sells so well just imagine what an Isetta could do.

    If Mini would bring a Mini One to the states I think this could slot in below that and give BMW and very impressive range of cars.

  • nuvolari
    …Bavarian automaker will indeed go smaller, though we are not so sure it will wear the blue and white badge. Rather, the new vehicle could wear the Isetta badge made popular on microcars from the past.

    Uh, Isettas wore both the “blue and white badge” and the Isetta name. Way to go, Autoblog.

  • Eelke

    To ben fair, autoblog didn’t day that wasn’t so back in the day, they are pnly saying of may well be this time around.

  • Eelke

    Sorry for the typos. iPhone correction not set to the correct language.

  • GregW

    I just saw Elvis driving an Isetta…believe me, here he is…

  • GregW

    Aw shucks.. it got all shook up, sorry folks.

  • This is a rendering by a third party and in no way pictures the future car, there are other renderings that look nothing like this and may be more accurate, these were chosen for the original piece because of availability and the retro styling.

    As for Autoblog stating that the car may wear the Isetta badge or the Roundel, that is not a typo or error; the car may be branded Isetta rather than BMW. This is much like the MINI name. So instead of being a BMW Isetta it is more likely it would be an Isetta A1 or something to that.

    The car has not reached final design studies yet so everything is mere speculation at this point….

  • Robert

    Cute little car if you live in the city, but I’ll keep my MINI. Good in the city and on the road.

  • Ian F

    I like the idea and the proposed renderings look nice. It should be interesting to see what the final car looks like.

    I also agree about having ‘real’ bumpers on a city-car. Something that can really take a good parking whack and be easy to replace if needed.

  • nervous

    Will it be available in non-metallic BRG?

  • C4

    BMW is clearly going after the Smart market, hence, I think we will see this in the US of A at some point.

  • JonPD

    I for one look forward to seeing what BMW comes up with. I have to say that Smart should start quaking in its boots as I think this car could take a huge amount of their potential buyers.

  • C4

    The main weaknesses of the current US spec Smart are:

    The anemic/puny 1.0L 3 cyl 70HP engine

    unimpressive fuel economy

    dicey handling

    Horrid 5-speed automatic transmission.

    If BMW can successfully address the weak links of the Smart with the new Isetta, they’ll have another “MINI” like success landslide.

    Oh and bring a diesel model while you are at it.

  • eager2own

    wow! it’s got doors on the sides!

  • eager2own

    I will be very surprised if that round rear glass window makes it into the production car.

  • JonPD

    I honestly don’t think one of the Smarts issues are with the hp, this is a city car, its nowhere close to having anything but minimal performance.

    I think the worse parts of the Smart and the biggest area’s BMW could make a very nice city car.

    I agree with the other three points you made though C4. However I think my biggest complaint with the Smart is the horrible brakes and unpredictable transmission.

  • C4

    Jon, you’ll be surprised to see how many people are using Smarts as Highway Cruisers and long distance commuters. Heck, I see 2 or 3 everyday down here in I-95 whizzing at 80MPH.

  • robble

    I wonder how it’ll do on the autocross track LoL. It looks to be rear engine rear wheel drive…

  • I prefer the silver/white version over the red/white. I think it pays better design homage to the original Isetta.

  • MauiMac
  • JonPD

    I see them also C4, but the Smart is sluggish but as you said I see them at 80MPH often on the highways, the motor may not be super powerful but it still seems to get them there, slowly.

    My bet for the Isetta will be a 75-90 hp motor, aimed much less at freeway commuters than city dwellers. These types of car are not about performance, they are about minimal footprint with a miserly engine.

  • Danf

    I’d be very surprised if we ever see this car in the US.

  • JonPD

    I think that its destined for the US if for no other reason that the Smart car is selling so well here and it allows BMW to put anther car into place to deal with the brand fuel economy standards. Particularly important if Obama is elected as we are bound to see some significant changes. Though I would expect to see some changes no matter who is elected.

  • I would buy one! Heck, maybe two!!! Love the new styling of the grey one!

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