BMW bets big on Maxi Scooters to fend off Audi which could make urban mobility scooters too
When Volkswagen group owned German car maker Audi took over hallowed Italian motorcycle marque Ducati, Ferdinand Piech’s dream of owning Ducati was realized. While Audi has clearly emphasized on letting Ducati maintain its independent culture of building high performance motorcycles, there is little doubt of Audi leveraging Ducati’s engineering expertise in motorcycles for its own ends. Earlier this year, Audi did make some noises about wanting to bridge the last mile of connectivity in crowded urban conditions with an urban mobility two wheeler, that could be a compact electric scooter bearing the four rings.
Even as all these developments are unfolding, the world’s leading luxury car maker BMW, which also has a motorcycle division in the form of the BMW Motorrad operation, is betting big on Maxi-Scooters. Audi acquiring Ducati is a clear threat to BMW as Audi too might want to build scooters for its customers who might want a more convenient means of urban transport for crowded city traffic conditions where a two wheeler makes much more sense for an individual than a car, which can be quite cumbersome. BMW has just launched two Maxi-Scooters in the form of the C600 Sport and the C650 GT scooters.
These scooters are powered by 647cc parallel twin four stroke engines that come with liquid cooling, four valves/cylinder and a DOHC layout. The engine pumps out 60 Bhp of peak power at 7,500 rpm and 66 Nm of peak torque at 6,000 rpm. The engine is mated to a CVT transmission. The scooters feature adjustable fly screens for touring comfort while ABS adds to the safety. The scooters deliver more than decent performance with a 0-100 Kph sprint coming in at just over 7 seconds while top speed is a heady 175 Kph. BMW is also developing an electric scooter, which it plans to launch in the coming years.
Apart from giving its car owners urban mobility options, the two wheelers targeting city riders built by BMW serves another purpose. Two wheelers produce much lesser CO2 emissions when compared to cars. This is quite crucial in the current regulatory climate in Europe as having vehicle with lesser CO2 emissions in its line up will allow BMW to negotiate carbon credits. More so, since BMW also builds a range of high performance cars whose carbon emissions are much higher that most of its other cars. Incidentally, this is one of the reasons said to be behind Audi being so keen on buying Ducati.