Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Inspired and informed

Rover's 'Spiritual' concept was shown at the Geneva Motor Show in 1997, almost exactly forty years after BMW launched their 600 uber-bubblecar. No more than a stop-gap until the the 'proper-car' 700 was ready, the BMW 600 combined a stretched Isetta platform with a horizontally opposed motorcycle engine, with styling ameliorated by Michelotti.

Remarkably, the 1997 concept originated within Rover as a proposal for a new Mini and had already been rejected by BMW two years before.

Could stylist Oliver Le Grice's apparent homage to BMW's 1957 proto-monospace pehaps be a polemic against the faithful, but sometimes uncomprehending Issigonis pastiche which the German parent approved for production?

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