More than 50 years before tiny houses, Smart cars and other mini things on wheels became recent crazes, the BMW Isetta was a trendsetter. It was known as a “bubble car.” It was stylish, got great gas mileage and zipped perfectly around narrow European streets.
Now, its modern-day equivalent, the electronic vehicle (EV) Microlino, has been approved as street legal by the European Union.
Designed by Wim Ouboter, production of the Microlino has started and its debut is expected in early 2019. The company already has several thousand pre-orders.
The Microlino is ideally named. It’s 7 feet, 10 inches long and weighs 990 pounds. Depending on what battery is installed, the Microlino has a 50 or 134-mile range. It can be fully recharged in four hours with a conventional 220-volt power outlet. A “level 2” charger will recharge the two-seat, four-wheeler in one hour.
The expected price is $13,990 and each vehicle will include a sunroof and a single touchscreen panel standard. There’s seating for two and about 11 cubic feet of storage.
According to the manufacturer:
“The goal was to create a vehicle, which was inspired by the bubble cars from the 50’s, but with modern design and technology. In addition, it should be eco-friendly in production and during usage.”
Sales will begin for new vehicles in Switzerland by the end of 2018, with sales in Germany opening in early 2019.
Article Last Updated: August 22, 2018.
- About the Author
- Latest Posts
A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.