BMW has unveiled a striking new concept car, but not in the usual way. This Simple three-wheeler has been popped in BMW’s Munich car museum, a year after being built.
It combines the best features of cars and motorbikes in one package, apparently, with the protected cabin of a car mated to the size and dynamics of a two-wheeler. You can lean into corners, but the Simple does much of the work with hydraulics in place to prevent any accidents, stepping in during very slow traffic when the vehicle’s at its most unstable.
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Thanks to the low weight – around 450kg – and small size – shorter than a Mini, the height of a BMW 5-series and just 110cm wide – the Simple only requires a small engine, with a 48bhp 230cc unit providing a sub-10sec 0-62mph time alongside projected 120mpg economy. A low 0.18 drag coefficient also plays its part.
The Simple wasn’t shown at any major motor shows, and has become a dead project after the BMW marketing team decided the tandem seating position wasn’t attractive to buyers. However, elements of it could be seen in BMW’s electric city car projects of the future.
And if you’re wondering about the name, forget any meerkat connotations – it’s an acronym of the project’s aim – ‘a sustainable and innovative mobility product for low energy consumption’. Obviously.