The Isetta was a popular BMW minicar built in the 1950s and ‘60s
The news comes following speculation that BMW was considering adding a fourth brand to its portfolio that would be able to sell cars developed under the 'Project i' initiative, a rumor that was denied by CEO Norbert Reithofer. Instead, BMW will use a sub-brand to sell the Project i cars, rather than an entire new brand, much in the way BMW's 'M' performance division sells M-badged cars.
The exact quote from Reithofer comes from a speech given earlier this week, in which he confirmed that BMW's "Project i is working on a Megacity vehicle as well as on new mobility concepts. The board has now decided: this auto will be launched on the market as a sub-brand of BMW. As BMW is the innovation driver within the group, the decision for a sub-brand under BMW is the most logical step."
This is where the Isetta brand comes in - while BMW has yet to officially confirm the news, there are several big clues that BMW will be reviving the Isetta name to sell off its Project i cars. The biggest clue comes from a new ad campaign for the BMW Museum in Munich. Interestingly, the ad exclusively features miniature Isetta models travelling around an urban environment in stop-motion - 'subtly' highlighting the car's small nature and intended use in cities.
Powertrain options for the car are still uncertain, but many are speculating that it may be launched with a small diesel or petrol engine, with a move towards electric vehicles shortly afterwards. In the meantime, you can check out the very subtle ad that BMW has just released for the BMW Museum below.