Microlino electrifies the Isetta "bubble car"
Swiss company Micro Mobility Systems AG has gone back to the future for inspiration for its Microlino electric vehicle. Revealed in prototype form at the Geneva Motor Show, the Microlino electrifies the Italian-designed Isetta "bubble car" made famous by BMW, which built the vehicle under license from 1955 to 1963.
In light of pint-sized urban vehicles like the smart fortwo and Renault Twizy, the Isetta could be seen as well ahead of its time. Unlike the Twizy, however, the bubble car shape allows two passengers to sit side-side in relative comfort.
And despite Urkel driving an Isetta on Family Matters, the design apparently has a retro cool factor with Micro Mobility Systems quickly filling reservations for the first 500 Microlinos after the Geneva showing. There's no doubt there are plenty of benefits to the Microlino's tiny design. Three sitting side-by-side only take up one traditional parking space, and they're cheap to buy and run.
The EV will have a range of about 100 km (62 mi), and a top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph) thanks to a 15 kW (20 hp) electric motor, while charging is handled by a regular wall socket and an inbuilt cable drum.
Those figures are similar to the Renault Twizy, a comparison that makes more sense when you consider how both vehicles are classed and taxed. Technically both are classified as an L7e motorized quadricycle, which means you pay less tax and don't have to meet the same stringent safety standards as regular cars.
Micro Mobility Systems is aiming to launch the Microlino in early 2018 with a price tag between €8,000 and €10,000 (US$8,950 and $11,200).