With all of the spectacle and drama of the London 2012 Olympic Games, you may not have caught the fact that BMW is the Official Automotive Partner to those games as well as to the Paralympic Games. Because the people at BMW are clearly sensitive to the facts that there is plenty of noise at the games and that it is probably better for the athletes not to inhale car exhaust (even really, really clean exhaust), they’ve supplied a fleet of electric vehicles (EVs) to support the Games.
There are 160 BMW 1 Series ActiveE and 40 MINI E models transporting athletes and officials within the Olympic Park as well as to other Games venues.
One of the most startling vehicles in the BMW Olympic EV fleet is actually the tiniest: The Mini MINI.
The vehicle—and there are three of them in the Olympic fleet—measures 1,100-mm long, 500-mm wide, and 400-mm high. Which makes it about a quarter of the size of a full-sized MINI. It weighs 25 kg. It has a 10-hp motor and can operate for 35 minutes before requiring recharging (which takes 80 minutes). It has a load-carrying capacity of 8 kg, so it is a good thing that it is radio controlled because it is hard to imagine who would be small enough to drive it.
The Mini MINI isn’t a clever toy. It is actually working the games. No, it isn’t ferrying Olympians, but it is being used to transport such things as javelins, discuses, hammers, and shots, bringing them back from the field where they’ve been thrown to the throwing area.
This is made possible by the removable sunroof panel.
No, we are not making this up.