The BMW Isetta has a modern successor: the cuddly Microlino with electric drive, front door and up to 215 kilometers range. Now there’s a production-close model!
The Microlino is ready, the unofficial successor to the legendary BMW Isetta from the fifties. The Swiss company Micro, which actually has nothing to do with car manufacturing, presented a colorful, close-to-production model to fall in love with. Like its prototype, it has a smaller rear track width, a single front door and a full-length bench for two people. But instead of a motorcycle engine, it uses a 15 kW (20 hp) electric drive. The Microlino should go up to 90 kph and a “sprint” in five seconds from 0 to 50 kph. There are two lithium-ion battery packs (8 kWh / 14.4 kWh) for 120 or 215 kilometers, which should be 80 percent full again in one or two hours on a 6-kW charging station.
Longer than the Isetta, shorter than the E-Smart
The Microlino was a sensation at the Geneva Motor Show 2016. Meanwhile, it weighs only 450 kilograms. With length of 2.40 m it is slightly longer (and also slightly wider) than the Isetta, but shorter than an electric Smart (2.69 m). The trunk (300 l) should fit four boxes of beer. According to Micro, there are already got 4600 pre-orders, their clients will receive first cars in the spring / summer of 2018. The price will be “about 12,000 euros”.
“I didn’t want to build a car”
The origin of the Microlino is quite curious: “This is not a car,” wrote company founder Wim Ouboter in 2016 in capital letters to the Geneva Fair podium. Micro’s main business so far were scooters and skateboards with handlebars (kickboards) for children, adults and teenagers. That should change now. But: “I did not want to build a car,” says Ouboter. Bottom line, the Microlino is a better shopping cart for the city, nothing more. What is quite authentic: Even in 1955 introduced Isetta was not a full-fledged car for the big holiday trip , but a vehicle between motorcycle and passenger car – a compromise of great wanderlust and small purse.