The 2010 Paris Motor Show was a big event for scooter lovers and gadget nerds alike. It saw a number of futuristic design explorations, and two in particular were of note for scooter fans. Auto makers Smart and MINI each came to the show with a small-frame scooter concept. Both machines were electric, both were futuristic in their design, and both inspired considerable enthusiasm from fans of their respective brands.
The burning question for Smart, MINI and scooter fans alike following the 2010 Paris Motor show was when would we see production versions of either machine? Up to now, that question had only been half answered. We reported previously how not only is Smart planning to produce their eScooter concept, but they’re partnering with Vectrix to do so. MINI has, to date, not made any announcements regarding the production of their Scooter E concept. So when I had the opportunity to sit down with MINI executives this week at the North American International Auto Show press preview days, I couldn’t not ask about the Scooter E. Sadly, I didn’t get the answer so many MINI and scooter fans were hoping for.
The response from MINI is that they’re going to “remain focused on building cars.” Does that mean a MINI Scooter will never happen in the eternal future? No. It does, however, mean that MINI isn’t even thinking about that little concept vehicle they showed in Paris three years ago. Really, this isn’t particularly surprising. MINI has bigger fish to fry. The brand is busy expanding their lineup with vehicles like the Paceman, growing the John Cooper Works performance brand, and wrapping up development on the next-generation MINI that’s expected for 2014.
It’s a disappointment for sure, as the MINI Scooter E was an imaginative expression of the MINI brand. I don’t think any of us expected it to actually go into real production, yet I would have loved to see even a limited production run, even if they’d been prohibitively expensive. If nothing else, I take comfort knowing that BMW Group does a great job preserving these kinds of projects for future appreciation. So while the MINI Scooter E will probably never pop up on the streets of London, it will at least likely soon occupy a space in the BMW Group museum in Munich.
On a more personal note, the MINI Scooter E has specific importance in the origin of ScooterFile. When the concept debuted in 2010, I’d just begun my role as Senior Editor at MotoringFile.com and I covered the concept unveil and subsequent details for MotoringFile at that time. It was during that coverage that I had the very idea for ScooterFile. The thought was what if there were a site like MotoringFile, but for scooter fans? I registered the domain that day, and though it took a couple years to get ScooterFile off the ground, it’s fun to look back and let our readers know that if it weren’t for this fun MINI scooter concept that will never be, there’d be no ScooterFile. You lose some. You win some.
What did you think of the MINI Scooter E concept? Would you have bought one? Is anyone excited about the likely upcoming BMW electric C-class scooter? Sound off in the comments. You can also check out all the 2010 coverage of the MINI Scooter E concept over on MotoringFile.