Swiss company Micro Mobility Systems has revealed a reimagined take on the iconic BMW Isetta ‘bubble car’: the Microlino EV.
Beginning life in the 1950s, the Isetta was designed by Italian automobile and motorcycle maker, Iso, before being licensed to BMW to build. Since then, various speculative designs for a rebirth have been thrown around. But, fans of the vehicle, which boasted a tiny appetite of just 3.0L/100km and an equally tiny footprint, never saw it come back to life.
Enter Micro Mobility Systems, a Swiss company that specialises in scooters. The company has revealed a spiritual successor to the Isetta as an electric vehicle (EV), called the Microlino. Though the ‘car’ is currently in development, Micro debuted a concept at the Geneva motor show earlier in the year, with their stand sporting the slogan, “This is not a car!”.
In reality it will be classed as an L7e motorised quadricycle – think Renault Twizy. As such, it will not have to conform to the same level of safety regulations as conventional cars, mainly crash tests.
Upon unveiling the concept, Micro’s retro-designed EV received considerable interest, taking just 13 days to exhaust their initial reservation of 500 units.
The Isetta was originally powered by a 200cc single-cylinder engine, but as Autoblog reports, Micro has opted for an environmentally-friendly, 15kW electric motor, which should give the new Microlino a top speed of just on 100km/h and a range of between 95 and 120 kilometres.
Pricing for the Microlino will likely range between CHF$9000 and CHF$13,500 ($11,889 and $17,834 AUD), with production reported to begin in late 2017.