Project Aerosetta

[Dead project pool]

Project Aerosetta

This was a project from several years ago of reimagining a BMW Isetta but as a larger sized vehicle utilizing a modern 821cc 4-valve watercooled Ducati engine. An original BMW Isetta has a 59-inch wheelbase and an overall length of 88.6-inches. Aerosetta had an 80-inch wheelbase and an overall length of 127-inches. It is also quite a bit wider in width (from stock) and those wheels actually would work on this application. Project progressed from sketch to a full-size printout (this picture with the Ducati engine) and finally to a partial clay model to refine the concept given front / rear suspension and fitment of a 95% scale person for positioning.

The project came to a halt as customer backed out once his wife said “I’d never EVER ride in something like that” (as it “was dangerous”) — and it was all relating to the front door opening. She didn’t realize there is a rollback canvas sunroof as a second escape and the rear decklid would be a third escape point and there would be a rollcage structure within as part of the coachwork.

I had interest in it as a promotional vehicle for “brands” to use at SEMA and other trade show events given its smaller size (relative to a normal vehicle) and its visual appeal to attract people with their logos and parts upon it. But getting a commercial marketing deal involves LOTS of politics and fiscal year budgets and more. Nothing quite came of it unfortunately after three years of knocking on doors.

If I did this today, I’d envision it as a composite structure body over a tubular chassis. One could basically create a filler structure of wood overlayed with foam and then carve it to create the external shape. Pull molds from it to make the final bodywork. Basically it is a giant upside down boat hull with a refrigerator door on the front. Windscreen to be used was from a Triumph Spitfire sportscar to leverage the perimeter frame and availability of glass windscreens. (other windows could be plastic) Thus the width of the Aerosetta was based upon the Triumph windscreen plus the lower side extensions for the modern wheels.

Thought about building it for myself but it is not gonna happen with other projects in queue. So I’m posting it in the hope that maybe it might inspire someone to build something for Cars&Coffee or weekend craziness perhaps for themselves? “Dare to be Different” is a good thing!