Khodrocar - As electric cars begin to spread into the lineups of automakers big and small, another wave of retro cars has materialized on the horizon. Volkswagen is bringing back the Microbus in a couple of years, Mini will field an electric model soon and Fiat has had an electric 500e in its lineup for a while.
A Swiss scooter maker called Micro Mobility has another unconventional but still retro car in the works: the Microlino, styled after the classic Isetta bubble car that was best known for its BMW-derived version (Ed note: and starring role as Steve Urkel's car in the television masterpiece "Family Matters"). The company showed off a prototype at the Geneva auto show and is planning to start production this summer.
The Microlino is expected to be offered with a choice of two battery capacities -- 8 kWh or 14.4 kWh -- offering ranges of 74.5 miles or 133.5 miles. With a top speed of 56 mph, the Microlino is designed for dense cities, taking advantage of its compact proportions to carve out parking spots.
"In collaboration with the university ZHAW and Designwerk, we conducted several studies on the necessary adjustments to transform this design of the past into a car of the future," Micro Mobility said. "For testing purposes, we electrified an old Isetta to analyze our results and get a feeling of such a small car. From all the positive reactions and excitement from people on the street, we knew that this project had to be further developed."
The layout of the Microlino won't change much from what the Isetta offered: There is a single bench up front for a driver and a passenger, along with a steering wheel and instrument panel incorporated into the front door that opens refrigerator-style. The rear door, which opens upward, offers a modest cargo area, while the battery is located under the floor. The headlights are located in pods that double as side-view mirrors in another nod to the original Isetta.