The Microlino Looks Like It Is Finally Happening

Illustration for article titled The Microlino Looks Like It Is Finally Happening
Photo: Micro Mobility Systems

In 2016 we reported that a little Swiss company wanted to revive the Isetta as an electric vehicle. They were supposed to release the car in 2017, then 2018, and when it never materialized it seemed that maybe the cute little cars were vaporware all along. But the Microlino is back, and it looks like it’s happening for real this time!

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Micro Mobility Systems graced the web with some good news about the Microlino last week. The little car — which Micro still says isn’t a car — has received a lot of updates since we last saw it.

The difference most immediately apparent is that the new Microlino is much sleeker than the first prototype. I’m not sure how Micro did it, but the little pod is even more adorable now. The changes, however, are more than skin deep.

This new Microlino ditches the steel tube frame of the old prototype for a pressed steel and aluminum unibody safety cell. Micro says this new design is much safer, and the new bones didn’t add any weight, either.

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Photo: Micro Mobility Systems

The powertrain saw some changes as well. Top speed remains the same at about 55 mph, but the 20-horsepower electric motor is gone in favor of a more efficient 15 horsepower unit. The 15 kWh battery of the original was good for a range of about 60 to 75 miles of range. While the new batteries — 8 kWh comes standard with an optional 14.4 kWh pack — are smaller, Micro says they offer better range. The 8 kWh pack is good for 77 miles while the bigger pack is good for about 124 miles, according to the company. In this case, smaller is better.

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Photo: Micro Mobility Systems
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And boy, it sure is small; the lovable thing is minuscule, just eight feet long. That makes it even shorter than a Smart Fortwo. The car is still projected to fall under Europe’s L7e quadracycle category, which I guess explains why Micro doesn’t want to call it a car.

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Photo: Micro Mobility Systems
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As for production, Micro hopes to have EU type approval this summer, with production and deliveries starting only a few weeks later. Base price is expected to be about $14,500. According to Micro’s FAQs, the U.S. version of the car will need design changes. I’ve reached out to Micro for comment on what the U.S. version would be like, and will update when I hear back.

I was rooting for this little thing when we first heard of the Microlino in 2016 and I’m quite happy to see it coming to fruition. I hope to see these stylish things on our roads one day soon.

Staff Writer at Jalopnik and learning pilot. Smart Fortwo (x4), Honda Beat, Suzuki Every, NovaBus RTS, VW Jetta TDI (x2), VW Touareg V10, Audi TT, Buell Lightning, Triumph Tiger, Genuine Stella...

DISCUSSION

shanemorris
Shane Morris

No offense Mercedes, but I just read about this car like... 3-4 days ago.

https://jalopnik.com/the-new-redesign-of-the-cozy-coupe-is-a-dramatic-improv-1846251699