Monday, November 8, 2010

Mini Scooter e concept

Mini Cooper look out - your lil sister is after the limelight. The Mini Scooter E was unveiled yesterday. This way to cute electric scooter was designed by BMW director of design Adrian Van Hooydonk & will make its official debut at the end of the month. The scooter charges through a plug-in system and features a docking station for smartphones which also serves as the key to start the engine. special software on the device then acts as a GPS system for the scooter and also notifies users when other mini scooter riders are nearby. 3 models of the scooter e will be released with the other two to be seen at the upcoming paris auto show.

Cosmetically, the Scooter E is a visual timewarp, but beneath the skin, it's a far cry from the oil-burning, two-stroke scooters of the 1960s. Motive power comes courtesy of an electric motor driving the rear wheel. Actually, it's mounted within the rear wheel itself, allowing designers a chance to simplify the exterior design and utilize additional space on the bike. As a result, the lithium-ion battery pack and an on-board charger are installed underneath the seat, although Mini's given no indication as to its range or charge times.

The advanced technology isn't limited to the powertrain, either. As the Scooter E is targeting young, tech-saavy hipsters, it's not too surprising to see an iPhone docking station built into the large speedometer display on the handlebars. The interface allows the iPhone to be used as an ignition key, navigation system, music device, and -- assuming you have a helmet with an integrated Bluetooth device -- a hands-free mobile phone. A rail system, much like that used in the new Countryman's center console, allows a variety of different attachments (i.e. cup holders, baskets, etc.) on the inside surface of the front fairing.

Like the Lambrettas of days past, or today's Mini Cooper, for that matter - the Scooter E appears to be a canvas ripe for personalization. The three scooters on Mini's display stand are mechanically identical to one another, but each is given a unique visual personality. The neon green-on-grey scheme is a blatant tie-in to the electric Mini E test vehicles, while the British Racing Green, and red/white/blue scooters channel the Minis and Mods of yesteryear, respectively.

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