The BMW Isetta is Coming Back, But as an EV
Teeny tiny cars have largely fallen out of favor with today’s car buyers, replaced with large and small crossover SUVs of all shapes. But a Swiss firm is hoping to bring back one of the world’s most iconic little cars of all time—yes, the BMW Isetta “bubble car.” That company is Micro Mobility Systems and their BMW Isetta revival is called the Microlino. While the Microlino is powered by a 15kW electric motor and rides on four wheels, Micro proudly claims “this is not a car!” Instead, it’s described as a “scooter with a roof” and it’s said to comply with Europe’s L7e quadricycle legislation along with the likes of the Renault Twizy, which skirts many of the stringent tests and certifications required of automobiles. The end result is an urban commuter that can zip up to a top speed of 60 mph, travel 60 to 70 miles on a charge, and shack up in what would normally be inaccessible parking spots. Take a peek at the Microlino in action, below. RELATED: BMW's Latest Concept Car is Straight Out of the Future
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According to the firm, the Microlino project kicked off in earnest at the beginning of 2015, as part of a collaboration between Micro Mobility Systems, students at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, and the Designwerk agency. In fact, it all started by converting a BMW Isetta to an electric powertrain. While the company says it still has significant engineering work to finish, it estimates full production will kick off in 2018.
Need one? Sadly, you’ll have to get in line. Following an initial 500 vehicle production run announced at the recent Geneva Motor Show, all Microlinos were said to have been accounted for within 13 days.. Now, interested bubble car drivers will have to sign up on a waiting list for the next available vehicles.
The first of these advanced release cars will arrive at the tail end of 2017, and the company estimates pricing to range between $9,000 and $13,500.
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