Automotive

First prototype of Microlino 2.0 electric microcar built and tested

First prototype of Microlino 2...
The design team reports much improved handling compared to the Microlino 1.0
The design team reports much improved handling compared to the Microlino 1.0
View 10 Images
The tubular frame of the Microlino 1.0 vs. the pressed steel and aluminum core of the Microlino 2.0
1/10
The tubular frame of the Microlino 1.0 vs. the pressed steel and aluminum core of the Microlino 2.0
The design team reports much improved handling compared to the Microlino 1.0
2/10
The design team reports much improved handling compared to the Microlino 1.0
The latest prototype of the all-electric inner city runabout being taken for a spin
3/10
The latest prototype of the all-electric inner city runabout being taken for a spin
Like BMW's iconic Isetta, passenger and driver access the Microlino 2.0 using the door at the front
4/10
Like BMW's iconic Isetta, passenger and driver access the Microlino 2.0 using the door at the front
The LED lightstrips to the front and back have yet to be installed
5/10
The LED lightstrips to the front and back have yet to be installed
It looks like a snug fit in there, but there should be room for shopping too
6/10
It looks like a snug fit in there, but there should be room for shopping too
The Microlino 2.0 prototype looks every bit as adorable as we hoped it would be
7/10
The Microlino 2.0 prototype looks every bit as adorable as we hoped it would be
The Microlino 2.0 will be available in two battery configurations for either 125 km or 200 km of per charge range
8/10
The Microlino 2.0 will be available in two battery configurations for either 125 km or 200 km of per charge range
The Microlino 2.0's motor will offer 100 Nm of torque and a top speed of 90 km/h
9/10
The Microlino 2.0's motor will offer 100 Nm of torque and a top speed of 90 km/h
A total of five prototypes will be built during 2021, with production pegged to start in September
10/10
A total of five prototypes will be built during 2021, with production pegged to start in September
View gallery - 10 images

We first heard of plans for an electric version of the BMW Isetta bubble car back in 2016. Production of the Microlino was pegged for 2019, but underwent a design overhaul instead. The team revealed that it was building a new prototype in December of last year, and now Prototype Nr. 1 has been completed and taken for a test drive.

The team has posted a test drive video of the front-opening electric microcar prototype to the company's Facebook page, which shows it to be just as cute as we hoped it would be.

The latest prototype is fashioned from pressed steel and aluminum components, compared to the tubular frame of the Microlino 1.0, which is reported to result in improved stiffness and safety without adding any weight. Prototype Nr. 1 wears a red and white outer shell, the video affords a quick look inside the cabin (which reveals that there's still work to be done there), and the lights built into the side mirror housings are shown to be in working order – though the LED lightbars front and back are yet to be installed.

The microcar is reported to have much better handling than the Microlino 1.0, and can bee seen on the move with one and two occupants – it certainly looks snug in there when driver and passenger are aboard, but there is said to be enough room for shopping.

A total of five prototypes will be built during 2021, with production pegged to start in September
A total of five prototypes will be built during 2021, with production pegged to start in September

The Microlino 2.0 will now move onto prototypes two and three from next month before the homologation process begins in June with the building of a further two prototypes. After an official launch event, the team will seek EU-type approval in August before production starts in September. Reservations are being accepted now, for a base price of €12,000 (about US$14,500).

There's no mention of any changes to the key specs for the electric inner city runabout, so we're still looking at two battery options for either 125 km (77 mi) or 200 km (124 mi) of per charge range, and an 11-kW powertrain for 100 Nm (73 lb.ft) of torque, a sprint to 50 km/h in five seconds and a top speed of 90 km/h (55 mph).

Source: Micro Mobility Systems AG

View gallery - 10 images
19 comments
History Nut
I always liked the original Isetta. This new electric one may be just right for the narrow streets and short travels in Europe. I doubt it would fit well in America. The price point is reasonable for an urban commuter. It may have a niche in a rental service at train stations and airports.
Fairly Reasoner
Still not a good idea.
paul314
Cute. As for the electric specs, wouldn't you expect "Whatever pack fits in the allocated volume" when we and the regulators finally freeze the design"?

I can only wish for a 4wd version.
guzmanchinky
Does anyone care about crashing into anything? Anyone?
DavidB
Good point, @guzmanchinky, and they should. History shows us that no one survives owning and driving small cars, which is how much of Europe ultimately was depopulated.

How quickly we forget. :( Thatnk you for the reminder!
Signguy
The passenger is moving his shoulder just to give the driver room! $14K for THAT?! Nope.
Doodah
I'm sure the billions of people in the world who drive scooters and motorcycles are terrified of crashing in this.
One thing to remember, at 55mph max speed, the accident isn't going to be as dramatic as one going 85mph. I do think there's a use case in the US, for mostly urban densely populated areas where people commute in and out, and aren't going to be driving long stretches on interstates etc. My old commute of about 15 miles would be perfect with this. Keeps me out of the rain and cold, I don't have to go much over 55 or so, I don' have to haul a bunch of stuff with me, etc.
Jackie Hodges
Just another death trap like the VW Bus I used to own. I saw what was left over after a front end collision setting in a junk yard. It had to be cut open and scoop out the remains, sorry not for me.
Trylon
@guzmanchinky, DavidB, Jackie Hodges and others,
Notice it mentions seeking EU type approval. Modern cars are subject to vehicle safety standards, which didn't exist when the old VW bus was designed. If it can't pass crash testing, it can't be sold. Seems to me guzman is always trying to tear down everything on NewAtlas.
guzmanchinky
People, even if it passes EU standards, it's mass is so small even compared to a Smart, that it will be accelerated BACKWARDS in any crash. That would cause massive brain injuries even if there was no cabin intrusion. I am not one to tear down Newatlas, but I am the son of a trauma surgeon and I know what hurts people...