Section: Scooter Concept

MINI Scooter E. The Big Question: Why?

MotoringFile Sections: Design, MF Feature, Scooter Concept, Video Sep 23rd, 2010 22 Comments

A lot of MINI fans have probably been scratching their heads these past few days as more and more details emerge on the MINI Scooter E Concept bikes. Why the heck would MINI want to build a scooter anyway? The PR has revealed a handful of reasons, and we have our theories, which on balance make a lot of sense for bringing something like this to market. Let’s start at the source, another video from BMW Design Head Adrian Van Hooydonk (above).

Beginning with the obvious, BMW has a deep history with motorcycles. Expanding into scooters is a logical diversification and leveraging the MINI brand to do that makes sense on several levels. Firstly, a scooter is to a motorcycle what a MINI is to a conventional car. They’re trim. They’re light. They’re efficient. They’re surprisingly quick. They’re stylish. They’re approachable. They’re not all things to all people. Secondly, and I think more interestingly, Britain has a rich scooter history rooted most iconically in the Mod movement of the ’60s. Mr. Van Hooydonk mentions this specifically and it’s an obvious thread woven throughout the design language. That intersection of fashion and statement-making transportation dovetails perfectly into what the modern MINI has come to stand for in the automotive world. continued →

The MINI Scooter E Explained by BMW Design Head Adrian Van Hooydonk

MotoringFile Sections: Scooter Concept, Video Sep 23rd, 2010 14 Comments

It’s an incredible concept that, until now, has been shrouded in some mystery. BMW Group Design head Adrian Van Hooydonk unlocks some of that mystery by explaining the concept, the drivetrain and the three directions in the video above. Below we also have a full gallery of new images and another more brief (i.e. readable) press release.

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Official Release: Iconic British brand MINI unveils its exciting MINI Scooter E Concept today in London. This new design study represents the MINI design team’s unparalleled expertise in recognising the challenges for mobility in major urban areas, and meeting these challenges with the development of stylish, innovative and sustainable future-focused vehicle concepts. The MINI Scooter E Concept comes almost ten years to the day since the new MINI was first shown at the Paris Motor Show. continued →

MINI Scooter E Concept Performance Specs

MotoringFile Sections: Scooter Concept Sep 23rd, 2010 17 Comments

[UPDATE] We’re having trouble verifying these numbers with the official BMW press information. We published a range figure of around 60 mile in yesterday’s post based on inside sources (not confirmed) but have yet to hear anything further. We’ll let you know if we get any kind of confirmation on the top speed.

This just in from BMW Blog:

Dubbed MINI Scooter E Concept, the model is e two-wheeler electric scooter. The electric motor is placed behind the rear wheel, and its fuel autonomy is estimated at around 62 miles. Top speed is 31 mph.

Bummer. It’s a bit of a disappointment, frankly. These numbers mean that this scooter is fully MINI in aesthetics, but less so in performance. While the 31 mph top speed places this scooter concept in what is arguably the most accessible conventional scooter speed range (50cc), it really limits where this vehicle can realistically travel. Though you’d be cruising in style, you’d be relegated to only the most urban of downtown avenues or the sleepy streets of your favorite suburb. The upside? In most states you’d be road legal with just your driver’s license — no motorcycle endorsement required. The 62 mile range is impressive and would be more than adequate for the urban commute plus plenty of nonchalant shopping, even if you couldn’t get there in much of a hurry. Here’s hoping for a future JCW version with a bit more oomph!

Smart Unveils Competing E-Scooter Concept

MotoringFile Sections: Scooter Concept Sep 23rd, 2010 7 Comments

It looks like MINI’s Scooter E will have some competition next week at the Paris Motor Show. Photos of a Smart E-Scooter concept have popped up across the internet. Like the MINI Scooter E, the Smart E-Scooter boasts fully electric drive, lithium-ions for juice, smart phone integration and ambitious design. Where the Smart concept departs is in its more outlandish details. continued →

MINI Scooter E Official Release & Details

MotoringFile Sections: Official News, Scooter Concept Sep 22nd, 2010 3 Comments

MINI has released official details along with more photos of the MINI Scooter E Concept. While performance and range details remain a mystery, the press release goes into extensive detail on the inspirations of the MINI design team, as well as specific design cues crafted into these scooters to tie in with the MINI fleet. Beyond design language, however, MINI has chosen to integrate whole functional systems from the R56 and the Countryman alike. Most notably, a scooter version of MINI Connected integrating a smart phone directly into the speedometer, and a Countryman-style aluminum center rail system down the inside center of the leg shield. The smart phone connectivity would feature both navigation and location-based social media functionality, and the center rail accessories are designed to work on both the Scooter E and the Countryman. It’s clear to us that a lot of thinking and development has gone into this concept, which bodes well for it seeing the light of production. Here’s hoping. The full release is after the break and look for our full analysis in the coming days.

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MINI Scooter Concept Revealed (Official Photos)

MotoringFile Sections: Scooter Concept Sep 22nd, 2010 21 Comments

A fully electric scooter with an integrated motor in the hub of the rear wheel and a retractable power cord. How cool is that? Oh and it’s from MINI? Even better. MINI is taking the brand to new places with the MINI Scooter E concept. But the best part is that this is looked at as more than a concept within BMW and MINI. The brand is focused on not only carrying on the tradition of the MINI brand but extending its core ideals into new categories that have never been thought of. We’ve seen this in marketing, now with the Scooter E, we’re seeing this in product.

The Scooter E will be fully unveiled in the coming days at the Paris Motor Show and much attention will be focused on consumer reaction. However internally many at BMW and MINI are betting that the idea will be quickly championed by the press and public as a new sustainable way to travel in urban environs.

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The scooter (which will come in three varieties as seen above) is powered by a lithion-ion battery and an electric brushless motor that can be charged using a standard power outlet. The three versions differ in color scheme and some design details:

  • There’s the 60’s mod style modeled after the Who’s cult film Quadrophenia
  • A BRG version that’s full of traditional MINI cues
  • A MINI E version with bright yellow/green accents

The scooter’s main instrumentation comes courtesy of the rider’s iPhone which docks into the scooter itself. All the normal scooter display functions will be there along with entertainment and navigation options.

We’re hearing a range of around 60 miles on full charge with “acceptable” recharge times (whatever that means) meant for charging overnight or at work

continued →

Paris Auto Show: Scooters & a Rally Car?

MotoringFile Sections: Scooter Concept Sep 21st, 2010 25 Comments

(Updated with new photo) That’s what it seems MINI has in store for us at the Paris show later this month. The image above is the latest that has slipped out and gives us the best glimpse yet of the all electric MINI scooter concept that is seriously being considered for production.

As we’ve previously reported the powerplant is 100% electric and integrated directly into the rear wheel. It’s driven by a lithium-ion batter that can be charged using a standard power outlet. The scooter even has a retractable power cable built in. continued →

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