It’s impossible to deny that the little Microlino, distributed in Spain by Astara, bears a striking resemblance to the 1950 Isetta. Of course, to begin with they are not the same as the Microlino is a 100% electric model with the steering wheel and direction not inserted in the door. But the egg shape that opens in the front is very attractive.
The Salon Automobiles Barcelona has been the brand’s debut in Spain, explains Alberto Diaz, head of this singular project for the Spanish market. The first units will arrive in June and reservations can already be made. Diaz points out that, since this is a European production vehicle, it is assembled at the Seacomp company’s facilities in La Loggia, a neighborhood of Turin, there will be immediate availability of units, without waiting longer than the transport time, about a month. . In the first year, Microlino will have agents in Madrid and Barcelona, which can later be expanded to other cities.
The version defined for the Spanish market of this small two-seater, 100% electric, 2.51 meters long, 1.47 wide and 1.50 high with a weight of 496 kg and a 230-litre boot. It’s pretty complete, even including a workable roof, though it will have some customization possibilities. The starting price is 22,000 euros.
Equipped with a 12.5 kW electric motor and a maximum torque of 89 Nm, it can travel at a maximum speed of 90 km/h and can be equipped with three different battery packs that give it a range of 90, 175 and 230 km. gives. The chassis, for safety’s sake, is a monocoque made of steel and aluminium.
Unlike other small electric urban cars that have come in a few months to cover the Smart Fortwo’s gap, generally originating in China, the Microlino is European, it has a vintage design and style. On its opening day at the Salone Automobiles Barcelona, the new Microlino drew lines of passionate and curious fans who wanted to open its unique push-button front door and sit in it.
The project, promoted by the Swiss Oboter family, began to take shape a few years ago. Win, CEO, was one of the pioneers of electric scooters with the company Micro Mobili Systems, which was formed in Zurich in 1997 and after a rough start, has brought 1.5 million scooters and interchangeable batteries to market in a year. His sons Oliver and Marilyn also currently work in the company.
New microlino design
The history of the Microlino dates back to 2016, when the first prototype was built, overseen by Icona Design, a Turin-based engineering company led by Samuel Chaffert and Davide Cannata. His Microlino design won the 2021 Chicago Athenaeum Museum ‘Car of the Year’ award. The Italian essence also unites it with its progenitor Isetta from the Italian company Isso Rivolta which was presented at the Turin Motor Show in 1954, although it was later made famous by BMW.
The car was already approved in Europe in 2018 and has around 16,000 reservations. The start of production was scheduled for 2020, so the Geneva Motor Show was the launch pad. But due to Covid the show was canceled and then came what we all already know, months of paralysis, especially in Italy where he went through two periods of imprisonment. But the project was overcome with problems of use. A few years ago, the first prototype to be presented to the public was crushed by a forklift at the airport.
Production in italy
Production begins in late 2021 in Turin, at the Cecomp company, founded by Giovanni Forneris in the late 1970s and still directed by his brother Paolo, who also worked for Aston Martin or Rolls-Royce Was. The forecast is to produce 25,000 units a year, but demand will set the tone.
The Swiss company Micro Mobility Systems and its Italian partners have already developed a three-wheeled motor which they call the Microletta, a ‘concept’ of the Microlino with a more adventurous spirit, in white and blue with a striped roof , such as the Classic, have been called Spiaggina, and they also produce commercial versions. The older Isetta was also rejected in the van version that was manufactured in Spain. If you want one you can book it on the Spanish website