Without question, the most exciting category of modern cars, for the money, has to be China’s sort-of-legal Low Speed Electric Vehicle segment. These cars allow you to drive your dream car, as long as you don’t mind funhouse mirror proportions and power levels unlikely to exceed ten horses. I personally don’t mind, especially if it means that vehicles like the BMW 600-knockoff Eagle EG6300K exist.
Holy crap, this thing is a dead ringer for the BMW 600, the slightly larger brother to the famous BMW Isetta. As I’m sure you can tell, this is no accident—Eagle wanted to make a car inspired by “the most lovely BMW in history,” by which they mean the Isetta, not played-out cars like the achingly lovely BMW 507.
Yi Xue Electric Chief Engineer Zhang Xueqing freely admits the car was designed to pay tribute to the Isetta, though the design is really, as we said, closer to the BMW 600. It was the 600 that included two rows of seats and a side-mounted door in addition to the Isetta’s trademark refrigerator-like front-opening door.
The EG6300K does away with the tricky front-opening door in favor of four conventional doors, but is remarkably faithful to the BMW 600's design otherwise.
The turn indicators integrated into the curved upper edge of the front bumper are directly from the 600, as are the tiny square taillights and the vents on the rear decklid. Here those vents are just for show, since, unlike the original BMW, there’s no little air-cooled flat-twin under there.
The interior looks a lot like any generic modern car, which is sort of a strange stylistic choice, but in a way I guess it just adds to the retro/modern tension of the thing that makes this interesting. Or maybe they accept that people are willing to be retro on the outside, but want modern comfort within? Who knows.
The Eagle has a tiny electric motor on the front axle making all of 5.3 electro-horsepower, and a 72V/ 100Ah lithium battery, giving a range almost 75 miles. Top speed is about 37 MPH, in accordance with the rules for the low-speed EV category. Though with only 5 hp on tap, I don’t think there’s much to worry about speeding past that limit.
Still, if you’re going to go slow with three friends, I can’t think of a better, more stylish way to do so than in this thing. Remember the movie Gattica, where everyone was driving around electric replicas of lovely old classic cars? China’s sick of waiting, and doing this shit today.
There’s other companies who’ve toyed with the idea of resurrecting the Isetta as an electric city car—a Swiss company named Microlino has a lovely concept idea, but it should be noted they haven’t actually managed to build any, and they want $12,000 apiece when they do.
The Eagle EG6330K, to contrast, is already being produced, and they cost around $4000. So there.
If you’re going to make slow, electric knockoff cars, make them right. This is right.
CORRECTION: I had the wrong battery size. It’s fixed.