MINI and Smart unveil Paris scooter concepts

Rival German automakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz have released details on the electric scooter concepts they plan to unveil at the Paris Motor Show next week.

The scooters, which will be presented by BMW and Mercedes-Benz under the MINI and Smart brands respectively, are hints at the direction both companies could take with electric mobility in the future.

MINI's Scooter E effort is based on the current production MINI cars, with 11-inch wheels and a "powerful and robust appearance," which, combined with the large, round front light and radiator grill, evokes the MINI four wheelers.

MINI will present two concepts, with one- and two-seater versions that have different contrasting color schemes.

Both models feature the round center speedometer found on MINI vehicles and an integrated adapter for a smartphone, which operates at the vehicle's key, display and central control element.

Once the smartphone is snapped into place, the vehicle is ready to go and while the scooter is in motion, the smartphone can be used as a navigation system, music player or telephone as required.

Smart, which unveiled its escooter a day earlier on September 22, uses an unconventional, sporty design which also pays tribute to the pioneering design used in the Smart four wheelers - including interchangeable plastic body panels.

It is capable of a top speed of 45 km/h and offers a range of up to 100 kilometers, charged from any household power outlet within three to five hours.

Like its MINI counterpart, the Smart escooter also integrates a smartphone as a key, speedometer and other vehicle information, using a special mount in the center of the handlebars.

Both concepts will be on show at the Paris Motor Show, which runs from October 2 - 17 in Paris.