Initially revealed back in early 2016, the Microlino promised a new electric interpretation of the classic 1950s bubble car, the BMW Isetta. After some unexpected design delays the stylish little EV has finally been approved as street legal by the European Union with production to commence immediately and first deliveries expected by early 2019.
For about a decade, from the mid 1950s to the mid 1960s, the BMW Isetta existed as a stylish little vehicle with magnificent fuel economy that was perfectly designed to cruise around narrow European streets. Inspired by these tiny retro bubble-cars, designer Wim Ouboter first revealed the Microlino in 2016.
Now, more than two years later and with thousands of pre-orders waiting to grab the first batch, the final design has been revealed and EU homologation certification has been granted.
The final Microlino spans 2.4 meters (7.8 ft) in length, weighs 450 kg (990 lb) without battery and passenger, and has a maximum speed of 90 km/h (55 mp/h). Depending on what size battery is installed the vehicle has a range of either 120 or 200 km (74 or 124 mi), and can be recharged in just four hours using a conventional power socket.
While the company was initially hoping to have the first models rolling onto the street by early 2018, design delays have pushed the timeline back just a little. Explaining the delays the company writes, "The reasons for the delays was that due to the special form of the Microlino and the front door the homologation took more time than we expected. Additionally, we wanted to get your feedback first, before we start production."
Since the initial announcement several design details for the final iteration have been revealed, including a sunroof standard in every vehicle, and a single round touchscreen panel on the dashboard.
The estimated base price for a Microlino has jumped a little since the original 2016 announcement and is currently estimated to be around €12,000 (US$ 14,000). Swiss-based pre-orders will be the first to roll out late in 2018, with German pre-orders soon to follow in 2019.
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