Meet the Modern Isetta: Tiny Microlino Car Poised to Hit European Roads in 2019 [News]

It's a bubble car, but not as we know it.

Microlino electric car

Microlino, a small Swiss outfit, created a modern take on the classic BMW Isetta.

This car isn’t from the 1950s – it’s designed for the here and now. Called “Microlino”, Swiss company Micro created this tiny electric car as the ultimate city runabout. It recently passed its last round of safety test, and will soon roam European streets. Until now, Micro has just been known for kid’s scooters and bikes. After first appearing at the Geneva Motor Show, that’s all set to change by December 2018. The retro-styled electric runabout will go on sale in Europe next year.

Microlino electric car

As far as performance is concerned, it’s not much more athletic than the Isetta it replaces. While the original Isetta model made a whopping 12 horsepower form its 250cc four-stroke engine, the Microlino does manage better. In fact, it has a 15 kilowatt electric motor, which works out to 20 horsepower. Buyers can choose either an 8 kWh or 14.4 kWh battery pack. Batteries and all, the Microlino tips the scales at 450 kilograms, without the battery or driver. That’s about the same as the original Isetta. Top speed is limited to 56 mph.

Okay, so it’s not fast. But, on the up side, you can charge it up at any conventional power socket. When it’s all charged up, the Microlino can take its passengers 75 or 134 miles, depending on the battery.

Microlino electric car
The Microlino is 2.4 meters long – 10 inches longer than an Isetta.

It may be cute, but it’s also pricey

The starting price kicks off around 12,000 euros, or $14,000. That’s not cheap, but with its retro styling and electric drivetrain, it should be pretty fun for short blasts around town. Mind you, this is not coming to the American market. Nevertheless, for fans of the original BMW Isetta, it’s interesting to know the car lives on – at least in spirit – in the Microlino.

The colors are also a great source of amusement. Colors include “Zurich Blue”, “Milano Red”, “Paris Mint” and “Amsterdam Orange”. There’s certainly a theme emerging, including “London Grey”. However, if none of those catch your fancy, you can always have your Microlino in “Gotham Black”.

Microlino electric car
Channel your inner Batman with a “Gotham black” model.

Photos: Microlino Auto