I thought Mini only makes cars?
It does for now, but this concept electric scooter could soon change that. It's been unveiled ahead of the Paris motor show in October and gives a glimpse of what could be the company's next step.
It doesn't look much like a Mini
Well yes, it has half as many wheels, but look carefully and you'll start to see the similarities. The headlight surround, the speedo detailing, the mirror shape and of course the winged Mini badge. It's all there – you just have to squint a little. BMW Designer Adrian van Hooydonk – as well has having a brilliant name – has been hard at work distilling the Mini 'essence' into two-wheeled form.
What's with the different colour schemes?
I'm surprised you noticed. Predictably, Mini is trying to make the most of its British heritage by releasing a mod-style, union jack-emblazoned version. If you're a committed mod, you can probably add a dozen more lights and a raccoon's tail if you really must. There's also a British racing green and, er, a lemony yellow one.
It's just an electric scooter – so what?
It's not just an electric scooter, though – it adds plenty of other nice touches like using a smartphone as its ignition key, for instance. The phone slots under a cover in the dash area of the handlebars to lend its satnav, music and communication skills to the little two-wheeler. Apparently it will also tell you where other MINI scooter riders are, so you can meet up for an espresso and buff each others' wing mirrors or something.
Okay, I'm sold. When can I buy one?
Hold your electric horses, pal. It's only a concept, but we'll be right in front of you in the queue to buy one. However, we have our doubts about that smartphone ignition key thingy – it seems every concept vehicle these days promises to hook up with your phone, but we're not seeing any in production yet. But you never know, perhaps it will come with a 'Made for iPhone' tag…