BMWs That Will be Missed: BMW Isetta

BMW Isetta 11 photos
Photo: BMW
BMW IsettaBMW IsettaBMW IsettaBMW IsettaBMW IsettaBMW IsettaBMW IsettaBMW IsettaBMW IsettaBMW Isetta
Today, everybody is talking about small town cars that are both fuel efficient and cosy enough to make you want to drive them around town while doing your chores. BMW's current take on such a car is the new i3 whilst other manufacturers are offering their own alternatives like VW's XL1 and many others.
What some of the younger audience doesn't know is that this is not the first time when car manufacturers are concerned about increased traffic and running costs of a car. The first town car that BMW ever made was called Isetta. Actually BMW didn't develop the Isetta as it was the case with their other cars. Instead they bought the rights to build this model from its original creator, a refrigerator manufacturer by the name of Rennio Rivolta.

The small, 2-seater, city-car was pretty successful for the propeller badged manufacturer. In 7 years of production BMW made 161,728 Isettas. The reasons behind its popularity were obvious. The car was economical, it had a BMW 4-stroke motorcycle engine that measured an "impressive" cubic capacity of 247cc, had only one cylinder and developed 12 HP at 5800 RPM.

The numbers might not seem like much but at the time money was short everywhere. The car was officially unveiled as a BMW at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1955, right after the second World War when the whole world was still recovering.

The Isetta had a fuel consumption of around 3 l/100 km so, say what you want about the small engine and the few HP but that car would run almost for free. The popular Isetta was discontinued in 1962 after 7 years of history making and ever since no other BMW came so close to the status of a real town car.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories