BMW Microcar Development Confirmed

September 15, 2008
Driven both by European and U.S. demands, BMW has confirmed development of a car BMW CEO Robert Reithofer has dubbed a "mega city" car that will slot below the 1 Series, currently BMW's smallest offering with its own badge. Quoted in the U.K.'s Autocar, Reithofer claimed that two engines will be offered: a "very efficient combustion engine" and "a purely electric model."

Of note, the electric version will comply with 2012 California standards, which dictate that fuel-cell or battery-powered vehicles must haveĀ a range greater than 200 miles between charges. Autocar feels that the "frugal and super clean" gasoline model will be the top seller in Europe.

It's about time BMW got on the minimalist bandwagon. Its recently released 1 Series, while smaller in size, shares both 3 Series' mechanicals and porky curb weight. And last time we checked, weight was the enemy of not only economy but also performance. We're not asking for a return to the charming oddball Isetta with its one-cylinder air-cooled Briggs & Stratton piece, but back to the basics sounds like a wonderful thing for Bavaria.

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