BMW resurrects Isetta Coupe to one-up Volkswagen's Up!

By Automotive Staff | November 30, 2007
One of the first motorized vehicles the now monolithic BMW ever produced was a silly looking, two-seat, 12hp minicar called the Isetta. The most distinguishing feature of the vehicle was the fact that it had the door in the front. The world has so rarely seen a production car that just screamed "Clown Car!" It was small, cute, fuel-efficient, but the door in the front made for packaging and, let's face it, safety problems. So do you think this car screams for a remake? Well, BMW apparently thinks so. In a retaliatory counter to Volkswagen's well-received rear-drive UP! city car concept, the new Isetta will also have its engine slung out back, reports Auto Express. Due to current safety regulations, entrance to the vehicle will not be made in the front but along the sides. Retained from the original is a blunt, upright front with cute, bug-eyed lamps. Not quite a Clown Car in appearance, but close. Due to the tiny size and weight of the vehicle, the Isetta will also serve to offset the high CO2 and poor fuel economy of its performance and SUV models. An all electric or hybrid powertrain will likely be optional. So how will this baby car fit into the BMW lineup? While the brand is mostly aspirational and exceedingly expensive, this vehicle would fit in nicely as a symbol of their commitment to environmental responsibility. And as its MINI brand proved, BMW knows how to sell small. via guest blogger Jim Hamel