Urban Transport

Quirky Messerschmitt velomobile rides again

Quirky Messerschmitt velomobil...
The Messerschmitt KR 25-E was unveiled at last month's Spezi specialty bike show in Germany
The Messerschmitt KR 25-E was unveiled at last month's Spezi specialty bike show in Germany
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The Messerschmitt KR 25-E was unveiled at last month's Spezi specialty bike show in Germany
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The Messerschmitt KR 25-E was unveiled at last month's Spezi specialty bike show in Germany
The Messerschmitt KR 25-E has hydraulic disc brakes
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The Messerschmitt KR 25-E has hydraulic disc brakes
Achim Adlfinger obtained the official license for the Messerschmitt name
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Achim Adlfinger obtained the official license for the Messerschmitt name
The Messerschmitt KR 25-E features joystick-controlled rear-wheel steering
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The Messerschmitt KR 25-E features joystick-controlled rear-wheel steering
The  Messerschmitt KR 25-E weighs a claimed 85 kg (187 lb)
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The  Messerschmitt KR 25-E weighs a claimed 85 kg (187 lb)
The Messerschmitt KR 25-E's  body is made of a fiberglass composite
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The Messerschmitt KR 25-E's  body is made of a fiberglass composite
The Messerschmitt KR 25-E has front and rear suspension
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The Messerschmitt KR 25-E has front and rear suspension
The Messerschmitt KR 25-E's cockpit cover opens by remote control
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The Messerschmitt KR 25-E's cockpit cover opens by remote control
The Messerschmitt KR 25-E has a full LED lighting system, that includes turn indicators
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The Messerschmitt KR 25-E has a full LED lighting system, that includes turn indicators
The Messerschmitt KR 25-E's 36-volt/250-watt electric motor augments the rider's pedalling power, taking them up to a top speed of 25 km/h (16 mph)
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The Messerschmitt KR 25-E's 36-volt/250-watt electric motor augments the rider's pedalling power, taking them up to a top speed of 25 km/h (16 mph)

When it comes to weird little old cars, the Messerschmitt Kabinenroller was one of the delightfully weirdest. Five years ago, we heard about a new pedal-electric version of the vehicle, known as the Veloschmitt. Although that model is no longer available, its successor has now entered production.

The Veloschmitt was a two-seater velomobile, the latter term referring (more or less) to a recumbent tricycle enclosed in an aerodynamic body.

Created by German designers Achim Adlfinger and Fred Zimmermann, it was discontinued after their Slovenian production partner went bankrupt. Now, however, Adlfinger tells us that he has teamed up with French partner Didier Helmstetter and velomobile designer Marcus von der Wehl to resurrect the concept, this time as the Messerschmitt KR 25-E.

The Messerschmitt KR 25-E's 36-volt/250-watt electric motor augments the rider's pedalling power, taking them up to a top speed of 25 km/h (16 mph)
The Messerschmitt KR 25-E's 36-volt/250-watt electric motor augments the rider's pedalling power, taking them up to a top speed of 25 km/h (16 mph)

More streamlined in appearance than the Veloschmitt, the KR 25-E is a single-seater that uses a 36-volt/250-watt electric motor to augment the rider's pedalling power, taking them up to a top speed of 25 km/h (16 mph). Unusually, it features front-wheel drive and joystick-controlled rear-wheel steering. Electrical power is provided by a 36-volt/17.2-Ah lithium battery pack – a second pack can be added to increase the vehicle's range, which sits at 60 to 80 km (37 to 50 miles) per charge.

Its body is made of a fiberglass composite, and includes a cockpit cover that opens via remote control. The plexiglass "bubble" on that cover can also be removed, turning the 25-E into a convertible. The whole vehicle weighs a claimed 85 kg (187 lb), and can handle a maximum rider/cargo payload of 120 kg (265 lb).

The Messerschmitt KR 25-E has front and rear suspension
The Messerschmitt KR 25-E has front and rear suspension

Some of its other features include front and rear suspension, hydraulic disc brakes, an LED control screen, a full LED lighting system with turn indicators, a Shimano 8-speed transmission with reverse, carbon composite wheels, an electric horn, a cargo trunk, and a padded bucket seat.

Adlfinger says that the KR 25-E is now being produced by French velomobile company iDMOOVE, and is priced at €12,800 (about US$14,308). A larger and faster KR 45-E model is in the works, along with the pure-electric KR 200.

Sources: iDMOOVE, Messerschmitt-Werke

8 comments
shopoutlet
I like the design. Just not the price, top speed, or range. Would like to see something like that also in a gas version.
Trylon
$14,000? If I were to spend that kind of money, I'd much rather buy a Electra Meccanica Solo or an Arcimoto, both of which have much greater speed and range.
TomLeeM
While I think that is really nice, I think the body looks incomplete, unfinished.
knudknud3
You have to be a super athlete to drive uphill with an 85 kg heavy vehicle.
fred_dot_u
There's a substantial similarity to the BugE in this vehicle. https://www.bugev.net/ No pedal option with the BugE and ordinary ackerman steering on the BugE. I'm not so sure about rear-wheel steering. What problem does rear wheel steering solve?
FabianLamaestra
The mechanical design of this product does not seem to be worthy of that price tag.
Imran Sheikh
Yes, its a BugE design, the difference is BugE has better Aerodynamics.
JoelTaylor
Like others, when I first saw photos of it I thought of a BugE but with a Veloschmitt body kit. It also is simply too heavy, period. 187 lbs plus a average weight rider puts it in the 350lb range. I think I can fairly draw a comparison as that is about the combined weight of me and my recumbent Quad. I live where it is very hilly with 10% grades being the "small" hills and I can say without a doubt that even with a 750W motor it would be a absolute bear to ride up hill any distance. EU e-bike regs limit it to a 250W motor and 25kph/16mph by the way.