BMW Definition CE 04 redefines the humble scooter in a most striking manner

The BMW Concept Link bcomes the Definition CE 04 electric scooter as the German blurs the connection between man and machine with its newest concept

BMW Definition CE 04 electric scooter

Scooters have been getting their fair share of publicity of late but this latest concept - the Definition CE 04 - conjured from the far reaches of BMW’s designers’ minds is certainly the most striking.

If you think you’ve seen this before it’s partly because you have, the BMW Motorrad Definition CE 04 (to give it its full title…) being the #NEXTGen development to follow on from the Concept Link revealed in 2017.

While visually they look fairly similar to one another, BMW nonetheless says the Definition CE 04 is now almost ready for production (or is a ‘near-series version’). If we were being mean we’d say it’s morphed into a Dyson hoover - Sinclair C5 hybrid, which is both as compelling and as unusual as it sounds.

There are certainly elements of the C Evolution design language in its appearance but the CE 04 is far more striking aesthetically than its more  humdrum urban contemporaries, especially if it goes on to prowl the city streets.

“We have managed to transfer many innovative elements and details of the concept into the series,” says Alexander Buckan, Head of Vehicle Design BMW Motorrad. “The technical realities of electric drive – such as the flat energy packs in the underfloor and the compact drivetrain – allow us to create a highly distinctive design which defines a new, urban aesthetic and which differentiates itself clearly from conventional styling. 

“A design that follows the basic needs for simple functionality, clear aesthetics and the digital reality today’s users live in. The new architecture has led to a visual revolution and has produced many new design themes. Maybe it will polarise, but it will definitely stand out," 

BMW says it is setting out to ‘redefine the scooter segment’ but it will do so by blending the link between analogue and digital words, an almost ominous boast made all the more striking by the fact a scooter will attempt to change the world.

With the slightly dystopian motto ‘plugged to life’, the CE 04 does a good job of breaking the mould of the scooter to the extent it barely shares any similarities. Note the elongated, low and flat body, which in turn shrouds a flat-proportioned battery and is topped by an unusual ‘floating’ skateboard-like seat, plus the huge multi-functional dash display.

BMW says the average scooter rider covers only 12km a day and the CE 04 has been developed accordingly to tailor the battery range, increase practicality and improve ergonomics.

However, the CE 04’s party piece is its ‘seamless connectivity’,, from the interactivity between man and machine to improve safety, comfort and the ‘emotional experience’.

According to BMW, “innovative features such as the integrated light guides in the sleeves and hood ensure greater visibility in road traffic and can be switched on and changed in colour via sensors in the sleeve. 

“To ensure that the rider is always fully charged up, the inside pocket of the parka has an inductive charging field for the smartphone.”

In short, the BMW Definition CE 04 takes the scooter format and turns it into something mind boggling, yet strangely engaging. Whether we will see this on sale as it is remains to be seen, but expect to see elements of this pop up on future BMW models.