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.