After five years of development, the small vehicle is scheduled to come onto the market in 2021. The launch was originally planned for 2016, but the micro car has been completely redesigned. There was also a dispute with the production partner. The third generation of prototypes has now been reached. The effort was worth it, the Microlino is small, but the new design is mature.
Like the Isetta, the micro car has no side doors, the front is opened. The light comes from distinctive LED strips and free-standing turbine-shaped headlights. The interior has been completely redesigned and there is a folding roof. The open roof should be standard in the premium versions of the small car. Available as an option for the basic models. It should be possible to operate it with one hand while driving.
Era of cabin scooters
The cart is opened with a lock, then the front door jumps open and can be opened. A loop is used to close the door from the inside. The vehicle only has two displays. One serves as a digital instrument cluster and is located in front of the steering wheel at the top of the pillar, another, smaller touch display is mounted on the molding that runs across the inside of the door. This is where the heater and blower are operated. Smartphones, Bluetooth speakers and navigation aids can also be connected to this bar.
The Microlino offers seating for two people, and the side windows can be pushed aside to let in air. There will be two Li-ion battery options for a range of 125 km or 200 km per charge, the 11 kW motor is said to allow 90 km/h, and the trunk volume is said to be 220 litres. The chassis, engine and battery pack have been improved for the third generation.
Without question, the Microlino is an eye-catcher, a real gem. Very different from the Twizzy, Renault’s micro car. But will it be a success? In China, a micro car, the Hongguang Mini EV, has turned out to be the world’s best-selling e-mobile. But the differences are huge: The China car offers space for four people and is quite lavishly equipped in the most expensive version for 4500 euros.
The basic version of the Microlino will probably cost 12,000 euros. This is very expensive for the mass market. The Microlino 2.0 was still considered an L7e vehicle, so if the production model is also approved as a light vehicle, it will not benefit from the current subsidies. The federal government only subsidizes e-vehicles as passenger cars, smaller and therefore more environmentally friendly vehicles get nothing.
There is also another aspect. Customers care most about safety when buying a car, a discipline in which a micro car cannot score. The front door, while conspicuous, made the old Isetta suspect. Even with a minor impact accident, you could no longer get out of the car.
I’m a recent graduate of the University of Missouri with a degree in journalism. I started working as a news reporter for 24 Hours World about two years ago, and I’ve been writing articles ever since. My main focus is automotive news, but I’ve also written about politics, lifestyle, and entertainment.