Is The BMW Isetta Street Legal?

Not only are these some of the silliest car designs you’ll ever see, but every single one of them is a totally road-legal vehicle.

As vehicle aficionados, we are seeing some of the most incredible automotive inventions ever created this year. Aesthetics that will continue to wow spectators for decades to come, luxury beyond our wildest dreams, and vehicles that can go faster than 300 mph.

However, just as there are some amazing automotive designs, there have also been those that leave us perplexed and asking why they were even created. We want to spotlight those vehicles today, not just the new ones.

Although the BMW Isetta is a terrific place to start, that isn’t where we’re going to stop. There are some cars, such the one-seat Isetta, that make us wonder why they even exist.


The Isetta is a microcar that was conceived in Italy and was produced there under license as well as in Argentina, Spain, Belgium, France, Brazil, Germany, and the United Kingdom. It was dubbed a “bubble car,” a moniker also applied to other like vehicles, because of its egg-shaped design and windows that resembled bubbles.

The BMW Isetta was the first mass-produced vehicle in history to attain a fuel consumption of 3 L/100 km in 1955. (94 mpg-imp; 78 mpg-US).

[a] With 161,728 sales, it was the single-cylinder vehicle with the highest global sales.

Isetta, which translates to “small Iso” in Italian, was first produced by the Italian company Iso SpA.

Isetta Is (Yet) Returning as an Electric Vehicle

  • Three years ago, we featured the adorable Microlino, a little EV that closely resembled a BMW Isetta.
  • At the time, the business declared its intention to sell the Microlino in Europe and secure a production license.
  • Microlino 2.0 has now been unveiled by the business, and it will reportedly go into production “sometime this year.”

The Microlino is a miniature electric vehicle (EV) designed to resemble the BMW Isetta. It is being developed by Swiss scooter manufacturer Micro Mobility, which invented the folding scooter in the 1990s. The business says it will begin manufacturing this summer and eventually sell them here, a prospect that was unclear in 2018. We saw the prototype at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.

Since 2018, Micro Mobility has undoubtedly been busy. The manufacturer claims to have changed the car’s structure from a tubular one to one made of pressed steel and aluminum in order to meet numerous safety criteria. It also claims to be extending the rear axle so that the vehicle can have front and rear independent suspension.

A permanent-magnet motor has replaced the asynchronous motor that the company was working on. The manufacturer predicts a 125-mile range and claims the new engine has “approximately 15 percent” more efficiency and “substantially” more power.

Due to NMC’s superior energy density, lithium iron phosphate batteries are being replaced. By choosing NMC, according to Micro Mobility, designers were able to increase the size of the passenger area.

Speaking about the inside, the steering column is no longer attached to the door but is now fixed. According to the manufacturer, the seat has greater ergonomics and a new digital dash.

The automobile will go on sale in Europe this year with a starting price of about $14,500. We’ll be monitoring the American plans.

Usman Raynal

Wes Raynal, who was born and reared in Detroit, has been a lifelong auto enthusiast.

Now that the tiny Microlino EV is street legal in Europe, production has begun.

When it was first unveiled at the beginning of 2016, the Microlino promised a brand-new electric rendition of the iconic bubble car from the 1950s, the BMW Isetta. The beautiful tiny EV has finally received European Union approval to go on the streets after some unexpected design delays. Production will start right away, and the first deliveries are anticipated to happen in early 2019.

The BMW Isetta was a sleek small car with excellent fuel efficiency that was specifically created to travel around tight European streets for around ten years, from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s. Designer Wim Ouboter unveiled the Microlino for the first time in 2016 after being inspired by these little classic bubble-cars.

Thousands of pre-orders have been waiting for the first batch for more than two years, and now the final design has been unveiled and EU homologation approval has been given.

The final Microlino is 2.4 meters (7.8 feet) in length, weighs 450 kilograms (990 pounds) without the battery and the passenger, and can go at a top speed of 90 kilometers per hour (55 mph). The car has a range of 120 or 200 km (74 or 124 mi), depending on the size of the battery installed, and can be recharged in just four hours using a regular power outlet.

The company had originally hoped to have the first models on the market by the beginning of 2018, but design delays have somewhat pushed back the timeframe. The business adds, “We apologize for the delays.” “The front door and the Microlino’s unique form were to blame for the delays because homologation took longer than we anticipated. Before we begin the production, we also wanted to hear from you.”

Since the first announcement, a number of design elements for the final iteration have been made public, including a single spherical touchscreen display on the dashboard and a sunroof that comes standard in every car.

Since the initial 2016 release, the anticipated basic price for a Microlino has increased slightly and is currently anticipated to cost close to EUR12,000 (US$ 14,000). Pre-orders from Switzerland will launch first in late 2018, and those from Germany will soon follow in 2019.

The BMW Isetta has reverse, right?

B. Because there is only one door and no reverse gear, if you park too near to the front end of the garage in one, you risk becoming imprisoned behind the wheel.

You are mistaken on both points, though. Only a few of the automobiles built in Britain had three wheels. Additionally, only a few of them had disconnected reverse gears, allowing them to be classified as three-wheeled motorcycles in order to avoid paying taxes and complying with automotive laws.

The rest had four wheels and a typical gearbox, however the back wheels had a small track.

that produced refrigerators and motorcycles, among other things. (Rivolta is also the founder of brands like the powerful Rivolta and the classier Grifo.)

In 1953, Rivolta unveiled the Isetta (“little Iso”), a town automobile with a 237-cc, twin-cylinder, two-stroke motor, in response to the demand for an affordable and small vehicle. Because of the design’s successful sales, it was soon franchised to

it is France. BMW initially installed a 247-cc motorcycle engine in its Isetta, and then a 297-cc single from a third party.

The Isetta 300’s highest speed was listed as 54 mph in a recent road test by the British magazine Motor, and it got 50 to 60 miles per U.S. gallon of petrol. An egg timer might be used to record the time from 0 to 40 mph; according to a recent report, it takes exactly one minute. The car was advertised in an initial British brochure as being the “easiest car in the world to park” because of its length, which is only slightly longer than the usual car’s width.

When fully loaded, the Isetta 300 weighs about 770 pounds (with heater and defroster). It is not quite a model of crashworthiness because your lungs serve as airbags and your kneecaps serve as a safety bumper.

The Isetta died, but why? The Mini is to blame, although not being quite as compact as the other small automobile. — for Sports Car Market Magazine, Dave Kinney

The BMW Isetta was it sold in America?

BMW made the decision to introduce a low-cost vehicle to help boost the slow sales of its larger models in the post-war era due to the demand for affordable mobility. BMW purchased the rights to produce this “bubble automobile” in 1955 from ISO, an Italian refrigerator manufacturer. In the United States, 3,925 Isettas were sold in 1958. However, U.S. sales decreased once California decided Isettas couldn’t travel on its state’s highway system. Despite having 10″ tires, weighing less than 800 pounds, and reaching 30 mph in 11 seconds, the Isetta is a fairly dependable vehicle mechanically. You’ll see that this vehicle only has one door and can accommodate two people. Today, several Isettas still exist. The engine of the Isetta you see here has undergone several changes, going from 12 horsepower to 20 horsepower, increasing the top speed from 53 mph to 65 mph. Porsche magenta and Chrysler yellow paint used in the bespoke paint job are eye-catching.


German Origin Manufacturer: Bayerische Motoren Werke AG Configuration of the drivetrain: rear-engine, rear-wheel drive 298cc engine, manual 4-speed transmission Maximum Speed: 53 mph Production Years: 1955–1962 Produced Number: 161,360 Initial Price: $1,093

The BMW Isetta was produced where?

Many of BMW’s models have emerged as being incredibly enjoyable to drive in the years after the company started using the slogan “Ultimate Driving Machine,” including the first-generation M3 (E30), different M5s, and the eccentric Z3 M Coupe. Despite its elegant and distinctive athletic good looks and pretensions, the Z1 roadster, my personal favorite BMW of the modern age, was a little disappointing to drive.

But the other day I was driving a BMW that was laughably far from being the Ultimate Driving Machine. Fortunately, the production of the aforementioned BMW model had already ended by the time the “Ultimate” marketing campaign began, as the business may have faced a Trades Descriptions Act lawsuit otherwise. Though unattractive, this model was perhaps one of the most significant in BMW’s history as a manufacturer of automobiles because without it, the Bavarian automotive juggernaut we know today could not have survived its close call with bankruptcy in the 1950s.

The BMW I had the misfortune of driving last week was an Isetta, well known as the little and chubby “bubble vehicle,” and it was produced between 1955 and 1962. The BMW Isetta was the first BMW ever to be constructed in the United Kingdom (in Brighton), and it was the best-selling single-cylinder engined automobile in the world at one point, with 161,728 units sold worldwide.

With the creation and construction of the Isetta between 1953 and 1958, Italian domestic white goods manufacturer Renzo Rivolta’s ISO business (nearly) met a post-World War II demand for simple, economical mobility.

Along with the cheap Isetta bubble car production license being cunningly sold by industrialist Rivolta to companies like Velam in France, De Carlo in Argentina, and Romi-Isetta in Brazil, ISO also sold its largest manufacturing rights agreement for the vehicle to the cash-strapped BMW in Munich.

BMW had not recovered well from the Second World War. In a slumped post-war market, the huge, awkward, and thirsty 501 V8 saloon failed miserably to draw buyers, and much of BMW’s former production facilities were now headquartered in the newly Communist-run DDR (East Germany).

The baroque BMW 501 and attractive but pointless sports BMWs, like the 503 GT coupe and pricey 507 roadster, were out of step with mid-1950s new car customer desires. ISO’s tiny Italian bubble-shaped microcar, on the other hand, was more in line with those demands.

What is the cost of a BMW Isetta?

For an Isetta in great condition, restored to its former grandeur, you would currently need to spend between 45,000 and 55,000 US dollars (34,000 – 42,000 pounds sterling). Depending on the model year, 28,000 dollars (21,000 pounds) is a reasonable price for DIY enthusiasts just starting out and can get you a very well-maintained Isetta. And if you only have roughly 17,000 dollars (12,900 pounds) to pay, you should generally anticipate a bubble car that needs a lot of repair and is in ordinary shape.

the Isetta is still produced?

The motocoupe quickly rose to the top of the sales charts. The Isetta was a car that most people could afford, costing only 2,550 German marks (about 1,450 US dollars or 1,300 euros now). And Isetta drivers just required a motorbike license rather than a costly vehicle license.

The Isetta was widely distributed throughout Germany and afterwards in other nations, with 10,000 vehicles sold in the first year. 161,728 Isettas were sold throughout its eight-year production run. It is still one of the most popular one-cylinder automobiles on the market today. The bubble vehicle period came to an end in 1962 when production ceased. At that point, people demanded full-size cars since living conditions had improved.