BMW Motorrad’s Concept Link scooter has room for two and space for groceries

Last fall, BMW Motorrad introduced Vision Next 100, a concept for future motorcycle design the company described at the time as “the ultimate riding experience.” Now we get a first look at BMW’s view for the future of urban mobility, the BMW Motorrad Concept Link.

The overriding theme of the Concept Link design is uniting digital connectivity with two-wheeled urban mobility demands. Keeping in mind that Concept Link is a thought piece, not an actual product announcement or preview, the future scooter demonstrates how electric-powered motor scooters open functional opportunities not possible with internal combustion engine (ICE)-powered bikes. Gas-engine bikes dedicate a lot of space to the motor, exhaust system, and fuel tank.

The Concept Link’s electric motor is on the back wheel and its flat, heavy energy packs are mounted in the scooter’s underfloor. This battery placement lowers the center of gravity, always a good thing, and opens up the remaining space between the seat and the bottom of the scooter for storage. A sliding door allows access to storage under the seat without having to flip up or remove the seat.

According to BMW Motorrad, the Concept Link’s edrive will deliver fast acceleration and be easy to handle. The scooter concept has a reverse gear to help maneuver in tight spaces.

“The BMW Motorrad Concept Link stands for a new understanding of urban mobility. It links the digital and analog world and places the focus on the rider and his mobility needs. In the way it links functionality and digitalization it performs both as a means of transport as well as a communication device,” said Edgar Heinrich, the head of design of BMW Motorrad.

Instead of a traditional instrument cluster, the Concept Link has a touch-sensitive display panel. Speed, navigation, and battery life data project onto a small windshield in the driver’s field of vision. Other information for interacting and communicating with the world appear directly on the display panel. The driver will not have to touch the panel for frequent access information but can use touch-enabled buttons on the handlebars to navigate and access information. BMW Motorrad envisions the driver interacting with infotainment, connectivity, and routing applications via the handlebar buttons.

BMW Motorrad’s Concept Link rider apparel extends the rider’s connection to the vehicle and digital connectivity. The clothing does not look like traditional biker leathers, but in addition to integrated protector pads in vulnerable areas such as elbows and shoulders, the Concept Link jacket arm can open and close the luggage compartment’s sliding door, for example.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is a luxurious and quick SUV, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.
Emerging Tech

Scoot your commute! Here are the 9 best electric scooters on the market

Electric scooters are an affordable, convenient way to minimize your carbon footprint and zip around town. Check out 8 of our current favorites, whether you're working with a budget or have some cash to spare.
Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.

World’s fastest electric race car to display at Petersen Museum

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak race car smashed the all-time record at the hill climb for which it was named. The all-electric VW record-holder will be on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles until February 1, 2019.

This freewheeling Army truck-turned-tiny home is a labor of love

Most tiny homes are models of efficiency but one British metal worker has redefined the idea, converting an old Army truck into a mobile tiny home that comes with a bed, a sofa, a shower, and a beer garden.

Take a friend stargazing at 202 mph in the 2019 McLaren 720S Spider

McLaren has introduced the 2019 720S Spider. As its name implies, it's a convertible variant of the 720S coupe. The company promises the Spider retains the coupe's dynamism and agility thanks in part to the widespread use of carbon fiber.

Gateway’s born-again Ford Bronco boasts classic style, 2018 muscle car power

Illinois-based Gateway Bronco has received a license from Ford to make brand-new examples of the first-generation Bronco. Every build starts with a Ford VIN and a donor vehicle, but Gateway upgrades every part of the car.

Bloodhound’s plan to build a 1,000-mph car has run out of gas

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project has officially shut down. The upside is you can now buy a 135,000-horsepower car powered by a jet engine and a cluster of rockets for $319,000.

2019 Ford Ranger saves fuel without sacrificing towing capacity

The 2019 Ford Ranger marks Ford's long-awaited return to the midsize truck segment, which has seen a resurgence lately. But will being late to the party make Ford's job more difficult?

Pininfarina Battista is a 1,900-horsepower, 250-mph electric supercar

The Pininfarina Battista will be the first production car from famed Italian design firm Pininfarina. Named after company founder Battista Pininfarina, it has a claimed 1,900 horsepower and a $2.5 million price tag.

Tesla could show the electric pickup Elon Musk is dying to build in 2019

Tesla has started designing its long-promised pickup truck. The yet-unnamed model will come with dual-motor all-wheel drive and lots of torque, plus it will be able to park itself.
Cars is helping Hyundai mine the artificial intelligence gold rush

In November 2018, Hyundai invested in a startup named We talked to the company's founder to learn more about what that means for consumers in the not-too-distant futures.
Emerging Tech

With this robotic garage, retrieving your car is like using a vending machine

Remembering where we parked our cars can be a real pain. But what if our cars came to find us, rather than the other way around? A new automated robot parking valet system aims to help.