BMW Motorrad built an electric scooter fit for Akira

Chris Davies - Nov 11, 2020, 9:19am CST
BMW Motorrad built an electric scooter fit for Akira

BMW is doubling up on its electric models today, not only previewing the new BMW iX all-EV SUV, but a “near-series” electric scooter too. The BMW Motorrad Definition CE 04 is, the automaker’s two-wheel branch says, a vision of what it has in mind for electric urban mobility in the not too distant future. It doesn’t hurt that it looks like something out of an Akira reboot.

Indeed, if the iX is designed to please the eye of those who want handsome presence from their SUV, then the Definition CE 04 is for riders who expect a little anime excitement from their commute. Based on the futuristic BMW Motorrad Concept Link from back in 2017, the new bike intentionally bypasses the faux-retro look of many electric scooters.

Instead it aims to deliver what modern EV riders need, pushing the technology to the fore in the process. Flat battery packs fit into the underfloor, while the eDrive drivetrain is significantly more compact than a traditional combustion engine. It leaves space for a new storage compartment – illuminated inside, and accessed from the side of the bike – for a helmet and more.

It also keeps the center of gravity low, helping with handling and general riding enjoyment. BMW Motorrad isn’t talking exact specifications yet, but don’t expect long-distance cruising to be high on the Definition CE 04’s agenda. Instead, the company says, it’s targeting urban runaround duties.

“The urban target group mainly rides short distances of approx. 12 km [7.5 miles] per day,” Alexander Buckan, Head of Vehicle Design BMW Motorrad, explains. “Long-distance comfort is therefore less important than variable ergonomics and easy accessibility. In this way we were able to create a “floating” seat bench seat, which allows you to glide comfortably onto the vehicle even from behind.”

At the front there are two U-shaped LED lights, while the C-shaped rear clusters are integrated into the side panels. A 10.25-inch display – massive by scooter standards – shows not only driving metrics but hooks into the rider’s smartphone. That doesn’t end at the bike, either: BMW Motorrad designed a matching set of black jeans, sneakers, and a white open-face helmet, plus a parka coat that has integrated light guides in the sleeves and hood for better visibility. A wireless charging pocket for your phone is also included in the coat.

How much of this will make it to actual city streets? That’s not entirely clear, though BMW Motorrad is dropping some heavy hints. “The BMW Motorrad Definition CE 04 now continues BMW Motorrad’s electromobility strategy for urban conurbations,” the company said today, “and thus provides a concrete preview of what a contemporary production vehicle could look like.”


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