BMW is no stranger to building two-wheeled vehicles, but it seems the company is moving closer to once again dabbling in the world of scooters. A Mini-branded electric scooter was shown at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, but BMW's own motorcycle division recently displayed a new scooter concept, dubbed the Concept C, at a recent trade show in Italy.
The C-based nomenclature is more than just a nod to BMW's previous scooter venture, the C1. According to the company, the C stands for commuters. BMW thinks small, efficient two-wheelers are a great means to provide people with a means of personal transportation in congested urban areas. A noble concept, perhaps, but certainly not novel -- scooters have provided such mobility to users around the world for at least a half-century.
Scooters, however, don't typically have a sporty edge in terms of either performance or design. We've yet to see any firm mechanical specifications on this bike, but BMW certainly aimed to move away from the cutesy, retro forms found on Piaggio's Vespa line. The Concept C bears the brand's traditional split-face design up front, while wrapping in design cues inspired by the company's GS dual-sport line, along with the S1000 RR sport bike. Stylish, perhaps, but the Concept C doesn't integrate the innovative rollover protection structure utilized on the innovative C1.
Although Mini is still mulling whether or not to build its scooter concepts, BMW confirmed the Concept C will become a production reality. According to BMW, two different gasoline-powered versions will be built in its motorcycle plant near Berlin, but the company is still mulling over the possibility of crafting an electric version (which could potentially tie into the company's Project i initiative). At this stage, neither launch timing nor markets have been established.