Fiat is due to launch a new electric, wait for it, quadricycle, in the UK and wider Europe in 2024. The microcar is based on the Citroen Ami, which came out on sale last year. Fiat has affectionately named it Topolino, taking the name and design inspiration from the original Fiat 500.
These quadricycles are four-wheeled vehicles that are smaller and lighter than a car, and usually have a top speed of 28 mph. In the UK you can’t use them on a motorway, and in the USA you don’t even need a licence to drive them.
With two new microcars on the market, will we see more manufacturers launch quadricycles?
Worldwide parking issues and congestion could be saved, if so. The cars are half the size, the Topolino is 241 cm long, and the average car is 448 cm. So, finding a parking space wouldn’t ever be a problem and would solve potential issues of countries outgrowing their parking spaces, according to our previous study. Not to mention, they’re typically more affordable to buy new than your average car.
So, if microcars do catch on, Vanarama has decided to visualise what that might look like, using five car manufacturers and taking inspiration from their previous models to envision a quadricycle future just like Fiat have.
Tesla: Electric Luxury Condensed
Tesla has been at the forefront of the electric car revolution, so it comes as no surprise that Elon Musk could embrace the microcar concept.
Like Fiat, Tesla could draw inspiration from an older model, the first Tesla model, the Roadster, would be a good choice. The Roadster was produced from 2008 to 2012, and based on the Lotus Elise chassis, with heavy modifications to accommodate Tesla’s electric powertrain.
The Tesla microcar features a sporty and convertible design, much like the Roadster. The shape of the car follows all Teslas with curves and smooth lines, adding to the modern and aerodynamic look Teslas are known for. The headlights are almond-shaped, and equipped with LEDs to give the distinctive look that Teslas have. This is your average Tesla, just condensed in half the size.
Ford Quadricycle: Country Meets Urban Living
Known for its versatility and ruggedness, Ford could bring its expertise to the microcar market with a model design for city living, whilst not forgetting their country roots.
With the Ford F-Series being the best-selling truck in the US for 46 years, and even selling an F-Series truck every 49 seconds last year, we’ve modelled this quadricycle on the famous vehicle. Whilst you’ll not be able to transport as much as the original pickup, you’ll still be able to fit in a bag or two. With its refined size and sturdy construction comes an added benefit - it will be nimble in tight city streets.
At the front and centre of this vehicle is the bold grille that Ford pickups have become known for. We’ve also added a nod to the original F-Series with curved wheel arches that were often found on cars of the 50s, alongside a modernised version of the classic model’s wheels.
A mini MINI - The Brand’s Version of a Quadricycle
MINI is synonymous with compact cars and iconic design. However, in recent models, the MINI has become much bigger compared to the classics, the classic Mini was 305 cm in length, and the 2023 MINI will be 23% longer at 387 cm. To bring MINI back to its original style, we’ve imagined what a MINI would look like as a quadricycle.
The MINI microcar would capture the brand’s signature style and playfulness, by taking inspiration from the classic Mini Cooper Sport models. The vehicle has the iconic retro styling, but has the curves of a modern MINI to bring it up to date. The white retro racing stripes have been added to the front, alongside the signature circular headlights. Not to mention, the original style of alloys to add to the vintage finish.
Range Rover: Small Ventures Off the Beaten Path
Range Rover is renowned for large SUVs, its off-road prowess and utilitarian style, and a quadricycle by them would be no different…except for the SUV part. The vehicle is modelled after the classic Range Rover, with a retro boxy style, featuring the iconic round headlights and black grille.
The microcar has elevated ground clearance, to tackle county roads and even city streets. There’s no compromise on space here either - well, for a quadricycle. There’s ample interior space to fit three passengers and one driver.
Small Car, Big Performance - The Porsche Microcar
Porsche is synonymous with performance and driving pleasure, and a microcar wouldn’t have any exceptions. The quadricycle has all the key known features of a Porsche, such as sleek, aerodynamic, and sporty exterior design.
The car features the oval, slightly bulging headlights of a Porsche 911, alongside an oversized spoiler of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS. With this being a performance-focused quadricycle we have just one seat, just like a racer, or a go-kart.