How do you get more mini than a MINI? Try the MINI Scooter E, a new concept to be shown at the Paris Motor Show which takes the design language of MINI's current line-up and adds a healthy dose of retro styling to create an all-electric two wheeler – a first for the brand. The Scooter E uses an in-hub motor at the rear wheel powered by a lithium-ion battery which is recharged via a conventional socket using an on-board cable. Conventional keys are discarded in favor of a smartphone, which also becomes the display panel when slotted into the integrated dock.
The use of a smartphone also extends to the navigation and infotainment system, with a Bluetooth link to a MINI helmet providing access to your tunes – and phone calls – while on the move. A wraparound speedometer surrounds the smartphone dock along with a charge indicator.
Other notable design elements include 11-inch rims, lashings of chrome trim, two upright tail lights flanking the MINI logo and a distinctive large headlight derived from the MINI Countryman.
Also taken from the MINI Countryman is the mounting rail which runs from inside the windshield down to the foot rest. This rail accommodates various clip-on holders for helmets, sunglasses, umbrellas and the like. There's also two compartments on the inside of the windshield for carrying personal items and at the rear, a storage space is provided for the five meter long charging cable (complete with spring-loaded mechanism for simple retraction).
Three versions of the E Scooter were unveiled last week at a function in London. Two of these – a single seater and a twin-seater version – will be on display at the Paris Motor Show where we'll have a chance to get a closer look.
“The MINI Scooter E Concept represents an electric vision of the future as urban mobility takes a new direction by MINI," says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design."The MINI Scooter E Concept is true to our brand values of distinctive design, intelligent functionality and customization and builds further on these characteristics by combining driving pleasure with sustainable technology into the first two-wheel concept of its kind for MINI.”
A sign of the times
MINI's interest in the two wheeled space seems to make sense given the ongoing push towards greener, leaner ways to get from A to B and the need for smaller vehicle footprints in urban areas. Daimler clearly agrees, having also announced that it will show a two wheeled smart escooter concept concept in Paris. We wonder what the big motorcycle manufacturers make of this new direction.
Adrian van Hooydonk discusses the E Scooter concept in the MINI video below: