In 1953, Iso of Bresso (Milano) released a revolutionary concept for an ultra-compact car, 70 years later, the classic “bubble car” has made come back as Microlino and is made in Italy at the Cecomp plant in La Loggia (Turin).

The Iso Isetta of 1953, was a revolutionary concept of an ultra-compact car that could be driven with just three liters of petrol and would guarantee up to a 100 kilometers drive. It was called the Isetta but did not have much commercial success until it was licensed and marketed by BMW between 1955 and 1962.

The BMW Isetta
Bubble cars were popular in the 1950s

The Italian-designed Isetta was one of the first microcars produced and was designed to be a cheap and practical form of transportation for the masses. It was powered by a single-cylinder, four-stroke, 298 cc engine and had a top speed of 53 mph. It was also known for its unique “bubble car” design, which featured a single door that opened up the entire front of the car.

The egg-shaped car could comfortably hold two passengers, and the door uniquely opened from the front. It was the perfect car for getting around town running errands and was easy to find parking.


70 years later, the classic has been revived and baptized as Microlino. The Swiss family and owners of Micro Mobility Sytems who invented the revolutionary Micro Kickscooter, pondered the question, “How much car do we need for a daily commute?” They couldn’t fathom why modern automobiles are so cumbersome and oversized. Studies showed that a car only has 1.2 people per car on a daily basis, and they average only 30 kilometers in daily travel. But what does the perfect car for getting around town look like?

They decided to try to find d new solution, something that would be bigger than a scooter but smaller than a car. During their research, they came across the “bubble cars” of the 1950s. Inspired by them, they began to make the first designs for the Microlino.

Made in Italy

Under the direction of Micro Mobility Sytems, the Microlino electric car is manufactured in Italy at the Cecomp plant in La Loggia (Turin) using 65% Italian (and 90% European) parts. There is only one entry door, similar to its predecessor, and three different battery sizes (providing either 91, 177, or 230 kilometers of range) made from nickel-cobalt-manganese.

travel advisor in italyCiao, I’m Celia, your travel advisor in Italy! Need help planning your trip to Italy? Learn about what to do and see, and where to eat and sleep. Ask me a question or request a custom travel plan. Book a consultation.