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While rumors of the new BMW sub-brand have been floating around for months, February 21st has been marked as the official announcement date for details the sub-brand, and the apparently revolutionary MegaCity electric vehicle.
Many suggest that the new sub-brand will be a re-imagining of the Isetta microcar of nearly a half century ago, and use some of the advanced materials that the Megacity also uses. Smaller internal combustion engines are a possibility, with the MegaCity setting itself apart by using the all electric drivetrain used in the BMW ActiveE.
After the Second World War, BMW produced a city car that was cheap and compact, and it was called the Isetta.
Since then the company has gone onto create bigger and better machines, but it seems that BMW wants to go back into the city car business.
For the past year, rumors have been circulating the internet about a possible return of the Isetta, albeit in a rather more conventional and safer form. Now it seems that BMW is closer than ever to produce their city car and according to the e90.com forum, the German automaker has filed a registered trademark for i1, i2, i3, i4, i5, i6, i7, i8, i9.
Why so many names? Just to protect itself and prevent another car company from having a similar name.
BMW execs have already confirmed the Megacity car will launch in 2013 in Europe as the first mass produced car to use a carbon fiber shell. They’ve even released sketches of what it will look like (above).
Deal would see Toyota give BMW iQ platform for future mini-car models
Last week we reported on a story that BMW was in talks with Toyota to use its iQ city car platform as the basis of a future mini-MINI. Now it appears that deal may be two-sized as AutoCar is reporting that in exchange Toyota may get use of the MINI Coupe and Roadster platform to use as the basis of a new sporty vehicle.
Neither automaker has made any official comments on the exchange and while unlikely, both companies would benefit in certain ways. Currently BMW is in need of a mini-car platform to underpin a new line of cars including a small electric city car and a possible replacement for the Isetta. There have already been numerous rumors that BMW was working with Fiat to develop such a platform although Toyota’s reputation for quality is certainly more in line with BMW’s way of doing business.
At the same time, Toyota is desperate for a small sporty car that can capture the attention of younger buyers and enthusiasts.
Toyota is already in talks with Aston Martin, which wants to use the iQ base for its Cygnet city car.