BMW has said its electric MegaCity project must retain the brand's essential DNA and be fun to drive when it arrives in 2013.
The bespoke city car is destined to become BMW's first purpose-built electric car when it goes on sale.
"It will be rear-wheel drive with lots of torque at low revs and it has to be fun to drive," said Dr Ulrich Kranz, the director of Project i, the team behind the compact EV.
Kranz said that even though his team is working with a different powertrain compared to the rest of BMW, the basic principles of making an enjoyable car remain unchanged.
"Physics will remain the same," he said. "We have to have a good weight distribution, a low centre of gravity and a very responsive steering."
BMW also claims the MegaCity will be the first electric car to be purpose built from the ground up, with Kranz pointing out that the Nissan Leaf shares its underpinnings with the Tilda, and the Chevrolet Volt is based on the Vauxhall Astra.
Kranz insisted the car's largely carbon fibre underpinnings are also revolutionary. Although the material will be expensive to manufacturer to start with, BMW has entered into a supply deal with SGL and it anticipates the costs falling as more cars are produced.
Despite the apparent flexibility in the platform, he made it clear there are no plans to investigate using other powerplants in the city car.
""There are always possibilities and opportunities," said Kranz. "But at the moment we are focussed on electric and we want to make it the best we can.