Iconic BMW Isetta returns as a Chinese knockoff


Chinese company copies BMW Isetta

Chinese company copies BMW Isetta

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Chinese companies have a track record for copying other automakers. Porsches, Hondas, and even tires often have knockoff alter egos in the country. The latest digs deeper into the past, however. Eagle, a Chinese carmaker, has blatantly copied the iconic BMW Isetta, Cars News China reported Tuesday.

The Isetta was built between 1956 and 1962, and its design oozes the time period. Eagle decided to give the "bubble car" a modern update with new sheet metal, but the same hard-to-miss shape. However, the body doesn't extend over the rear wheel partially like the original BMW Isetta. 

Eagle's car, which it calls the EG6330K, doesn't feature front-opening doors, or a gasoline engine at that. Instead, four traditional doors are in place and an all-electric powertrain scoots the tiny car around. A 72 kilowatt-hour lead-acid battery provides—wait for it—5 horsepower. The battery pack will propel the car for 87 miles before needing a recharge if it's any consolation for the lack of power.

The report said Eagle is targeting younger buyers with the retro design, but will also pitch the EG6330K to elderly drivers who may want to downsize into a smaller car.

The small footprint and tiny electric powertrain will make the Isetta knockoff quite affordable, though. Eagle priced the car at around $4,000.

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