Microlino electric microcar moves into pre-series development phase
In development for over five years, and originally due for production in 2019 before a complete redesign put the brakes on that timeline, the third prototype of the Microlino electric bubblecar from Micro Mobility Systems AG has now been completed.
The dev team shared a test drive video of the first Microlino 2.0 prototype back in February, and immediately started working on the second prototype. This was completed at the end of May, and included working front and rear LED lightbars – the rear lightbar combines braking, turn indicators and position lights in on strip, while the front strip that straddles the front-opening door of the vehicle integrates position lighting and turn signals. Spot headlights are mounted to the front of the side mirrors.
The third prototype adds a completely redesigned interior, together with a new fun addition – a folding roof – and is reckoned to be "very close to the series version in terms of the exterior and interior design."
The folding roof, that essentially turns the electric bubblecar into a convertible, will come as standard in premium versions of the micro-car, or as an option for base models. It's been developed by Magna Car Top Systems and allows driver and passenger to feel the breeze as they motor along, with Microlino's developers saying that it can be safely operated with one hand while the car is moving.
The Microlino doesn't sport an exterior door handle. The car is unlocked using a key, and there's a small button below the headlight that pops the door when pressed. After that, it's a case of sliding fingers in the gap and opening her up. A button on the aluminum bar under the windshield activates the door mechanism from the inside.
There are now two displays in the vehicle, one serves as a digital instrument cluster and is located in front of the steering wheel to the top of the column, while another, smaller touch display is mounted to the bar that runs across the inside of the door and is used to control vehicle functions, such as the heating and the fans. Smartphones, Bluetooth speakers and navigation aids can also be mounted to that bar, too.
Elsewhere, there's seating for two (though it does look like it would be a very cosy fit for larger adults), and the side windows slide back with a push to let some air in. Performance specs look to be unchanged, meaning that there will be two Li-ion battery options in the production vehicle for either 125 km (77 miles) or 200 km (124 miles) of per-charge range, an 11-kW motor offers a top speed on 90 km/h (55 mph), and trunk volume is reported to be 220 liters.
With the completion of the third prototype, the company will now drive into the pre-series phase of development where the final two prototypes will be built to undergo the homologation process ahead of EU-type approval in August and start of production proper in September.
Micro Mobility Systems AG has formed a new company called Microlino Italia with partner CECOMP to undertake manufacture at the latter's facility in La Loggia, Turin, Italy.
Source: Micro Mobility Systems AG
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Talk and prototypes are easy and cheap. Production is hard and expensive.
Where do the makers of this consider that it will find a big enough market to make manufacturing investment viable?