While many of you may not remember the iconic BMW Isetta from the late 1950s, a modern iteration of that vehicle could soon be in the making, albeit from a different manufacturer. Swiss firm Micro has revealed the BMW Isetta-inspired Microlino 2.0 prototype compact urban EV. The carmaker says the Microlino 2.0 has been developed to offer just the right amount of space, range and performance according to average usage statistics.
The carmaker says that, on an average, a car is only occupied by 1-2 people at a time and driven just about 35km a day. Traditional cars are thus too big for 95% of their usage. And for a change, the Microlino strikes that balance by providing an 'ideal mix' between motorcycles and cars. In terms of styling, the Microlino is heavily inspired by the BMW Isetta. It features a front-opening door, allowing the vehicle to be parked nose-in and occupants can then exit straight onto the pavement. However, unlike the Isetta, the Microlino rides on four-wheels, rather than three.
On the inside, the Microlino has a simple and minimalistic cabin. Well, there's only space for so much. There's just a digital display to show key information and a steering wheel with two stalks. The Microlino also does not feature any integrated air-con system or sound system. Instead, the dashboard features a horizontal bar to which phones and wireless speakers can be mounted. There's room to seat two adult individuals and space for three beverage crates.
The first prototype of the Microlino was completed in 2018. This new Microlino 2.0 prototype is closer to the production model. The first prototype was based on a simple tubular frame. The 2.0 prototype has been built around a pressed steel and aluminum monocoque which improves rigidity without a significant weight penalty. The rear end is also roughly 50% wider for improved stability. Unlike what it's size might suggest, the Microlino actually packs in a respectable amount of driving range.
Depending on which of the two available battery packs you opt for, the Microlino will give you a range of either 126km or 201 km. Although exact details about the battery pack have not been revealed, Micro claims that the car can be fully charged in just four hours using a domestic plug socket. The Microlino 2.0 weighs just 523 kg and has a top-speed of 90 kph. The Microlino is being positioned to compete with the Citroën Ami. Additional prototypes will follow in March with the homologation process set to begin in June. Series production is expected to begin in September 2021.