With its quirky egg shape and minimalist interior, the bubble car was a symbol of cheap and cheerful mobility on European roads in the 1950s and 60s.
Today, two Swiss brothers are developing a new version of the two-seater, a full 56 years after BMW halted production of its famed Isetta after churning out more than 160,000 vehicles.
Oliver and Merlin Ouboter have more than 7,200 orders for their Microlino, a modern version of the Isetta which swaps the old single-cylinder petrol engine for a 20 horsepower electric motor but keeps the famous front-opening door.
The brothers, whose father Wim made millions from modernized kick-scooters, plan to launch the car in December.
“The average modern car is way too big for normal use,” said Oliver, the project’s 24-year-old operations chief.
He cited statistics showing the average car journey involves 1.2 passengers driving less than 35 km.
They built two prototypes in China and displayed one at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, where
enthusiasts received them warmly.
“We started a reservations list with 500 spots on it, and in three or four days it was filled up,” said Merlin, 22, the chief marketing officer.