Micro drives into Munich with series Microlino electric bubble car
Micro Mobility Systems AG first revealed plans for a battery-electric reworking of the BMW Isetta bubble car at the Geneva Motor Show in 2016. We've been following the progress ever since, and now the company has returned to the auto show floor – albeit in Munich this time – to launch the series version of the Microlino 2.0.
Following feedback from reservation holders, the company has opted to launch the Microlino 2.0 electric microcar in three editions – Urban, Dolce and Competizione. "After several years of development and more challenges than we could have imagined, we are beyond proud to show the series version of the Microlino for the first time," said Micro's Wim Ouboter.
The Urban variant is the entry model of the series editions, and takes a less-is-more approach in offering a no-frills fabric interior, a closed coupe roof (which can be upgraded to a sunroof), split lighting/reflector strips front and back, and a choice of white or orange for the paint job.
The design team has gone decidedly retro for the Dolce edition, which comes in five color choices and features chrome detailing. LED lighting front and back is the complete Infinity bar seen on previous designs, a folding sunroof comes as standard, or buyers can opt for a coupe roof if that's what they want, and there's a more premium feel to the interior, with a mix of vegan leather and fabric for the seating, dashboard and steering wheel that matches the flashy colors on the outside.
The range-topper is the Competizione offering, which carries over the premium design cues from the Dolce edition, but comes in three matte color options for the body, and a contrasting gloss black roof for all models.
Other upgrades of note include a 12.5-kW motor with a peak power output of 19 kW for 118 Nm (87 lb.ft) of torque, acceleration to 50 km/h (32 mph) in five seconds, and a top speed of 90 km/h (56 mph). There are to be three Li-ion battery options – a 6-kWh pack for up to 95 km (59 miles) of per-charge range, 10.5 kWh for up to 175 km (108 miles), and 14 kWh for 230 km (142 miles) – and charging time varies between three and four hours. The trunk volume is now 230 liters, and there's McPherson independent suspension front and back.
Micro has now received more than 24,000 reservations, and plans to go into production this year at its own production facility in Turin, Italy, where annual output will start at around 7,500 vehicles, with the potential to go up from there. Following the company's appearance at this week's IAA Mobility 2021 trade show, an online configurator will be opened and pricing for each edition released. The base price will remain at €12,500 (about US$14,850) though.
In addition to showing off the Microlino 2.0 and the Microletta e-scooter we first saw back in March 2020, the company also took the opportunity to debut an electric three-wheel scoot called the Micro Gladiator at the auto show. "We wanted to create a safe and easy to ride vehicle for factories, corporate and university campuses and airports," said Ouboter. "Too much time is spent walking around big premises and we want to connect these places better."
The few details shared on the prototype include a 60 km (37 miles) of per-charge range, five drive modes and a twist throttle, a step-on button that detects when a rider is on the wide platform, suspension on each of the three wheels for a comfortable glide, and the potential to haul small trailers around. Production is estimated to start in 2022.