Steve Urkel Rejoice, Isetta Revived By Chinese Automaker As EV

APR 18 2018 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 5

This isn’t your classic BMW Isetta.

Chinese automakers are still mining the designs of other automakers when it comes to producing new vehicles. It’s a practice that is surprisingly common, with Chinese firms not only mimicking the likeness of other mainstream brands but sometimes even mimicking nameplates. Another Chinese automaker taking the design of a more-popular car isn’t news. However, this latest compact car from the Chinese automaker Eagle is quite “unique.” And by unique, I mean heavily resembles a certain classic BMW runabout – the Isetta and 600.

Isetta

CarNewsChina.com is quick to point out the Eagle EG6330K, which is a far less iconic name than the Isetta, more closely resembles the styling of the BMW 600. Both the Isaetta and 600 are similar. Eagle didn’t follow the Isetta’s single nose-based door. Instead, the automaker added four conventional doors and another wheel at the rear. Apparently, China has a market for low-speed electric vehicles, which is ripe with compact copycats.

Also different is the powertrain. The Eagle sports a 5.3-horsepower electric motor and a 7.2-kilowatt-hour lead-acid battery. Top speed is a claimed 60 kilometers per hour (37 miles per hour) with a range of 120 km (75 miles). The car seats four and weighs just 750 kilograms (1,653 pounds). CarNewsChina.com estimates price should start at around $4,000.

While the exterior is clearly inspired by BMW’s classic design, the inside of the EG6330K is quite modern. There’s a plethora of black plastic, big vents on the dash, HVAC controls, an MP3 player, and overall simple controls.

This isn’t the first time Eagle has copied a German automaker. In 2015, the company unveiled a Porsche Cayman knockoff. Thankfully that car never entered production. The copying of mainstream brands by Chinese automakers likely won’t slow anytime soon. The designs may not make production or hit a broad audience outside of China, but that won’t stop automakers in the country from trying to copy from sells well.

Source: CarNewsChina.com via CarScoops.com

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5 Comments on "Steve Urkel Rejoice, Isetta Revived By Chinese Automaker As EV"

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I am not sure the bashing is justified. A stylistic reference to an iconic vehicle of the past is, after all, a compliment. In their add, with the car breaking through a wall of history with a mid twenty century-German town in the background, the Chinese company makes this quite clear. I find it playful. What about the West copying anything from umbrellas to china (pun intended)? We celebrate each others accomplishments. That is what friends do.

While BMW was the most famous producer, the Isetta was originally developed (and also produced) by Iso.

Iso’s owner, Mr.Rivolta, left it to others to go on making Isettas (“little Iso” I think), and shifted to his new interest. That was a performance car, which gave us the tasty Iso Rivolta.

“Instead, the automaker added four conventional doors and another wheel at the rear.”
Correction: The Isetta (apart from an early prototype) always had two rear wheels.

Supposedly, the design inspiration for “Isetta’s single nose-based door” was from the company’s usual business of making refrigerators (which have doors… ). There’s at least one other electric ‘Isetta’, the Microlino. Swiss.