November 2, 2010 - BMW surprised everyone at the EICMA show with a presentation by David Robb, BMW's Design Chief, on the Concept C scooter.
The surprise was both the Concept C and having Robb do the presentation, which must mean they're pretty serious about it.
UPDATE (July 1, 2011) - BMW announces the BMW E-Scooter electric scooter concept!
Robb went to great pains to tell us why the Concept C is not like any other scooter, but in the end, if it looks like a scooter and rides like a scooter...it's a scooter. OK, so maybe it's a Maxi-Scooter.
He did explain how they used some of the K-series technology in the Concept C, which is supposed to be a true concept for public comment on whether or not it should be built.
But BMW is on a roll, with both the car and motorcycle divisions, and they're releasing new products as fast as they can whip them off David Robb's drawing boards, so I expect to see something similar to the Concept C go to production.
Scooters are popular in Europe and any morning or afternoon commute will turn up more scooters than one would see in 6 months on American highways. Make that a year...
Most of the scooters seem to be of the modern type, practical things with fairings and storage. I never have warmed up to non-retro scooters, and I'm not sure I'd like to see a future where scooters are the only practical type of two-wheel transportation.
By the way, what ever happened to BMW's C1-E electric scooter concept?
Just as an aside, I can say that after seeing and sitting in a Fiat Panda, anything larger than a Punto looks too big.
I saw a Mercedes-Benz C-series parked next to a Panda today and the Merc looked like one of those limousines parked by the lake at National Airport.
The Panda has to have the most amount of usable space for its footprint than anything on the planet. And it's irresistably cute too -- and it would make a great surf mobile for heading to the beach.
So I took some photos of the Concept C (below) and BMW gave us some stock photos (also below).
They had a video also but it's fluff, so not worth posting. I'd like to know what you think of this one -- as would BMW, so have at it in the survey.
By the way, I don't have time or the energy to re-format their Concept C press release. BMW press releases are handed out in .pdf form, the worst format possible for web editors.
So here's a copy (.pdf format) if you'd like to download it, although be forewarned: it's not all that interesting.
And finally, they introduced an intriguing design study by Husqvarna that apparently does not have David Robb's fingerprints on it. It's a cross between a power cruiser, drag bike, custom and supermoto, if you can imagine.
Husqvarna said they want to build a road bike and I guess there are more market niches than the BMW brand feels comfortable filling, so we'll see how this one goes.
Interesting to note it was apparently pulled off the stand that night, I couldn't find it the next day. I'll have more on it with some photos in an upcoming story.
More: BMW C 650 Sport and 650 GT at EICMA 2011!
Master Listing of All wBW Motorcycle Product Reviews