A new startup out of Turkey has unveiled a fresh idea on an old concept. The Lámpago is an electric runabout perfect for scooting around a city. But this is more than just a cute scoot as it’s a trike bursting at the seams with Brütsch Mopetta microcar style and some neat quirks. Sure, it may go only 30 mph and it has a maximum range of about 45 miles, but it looks so good you won’t care. Plus, it has a built-in thermos for a beverage on the go and an umbrella for those rough days.
I’ll note this right away, should this little trike come to America, it won’t be something you’re taking down a highway. With a top speed around 30 mph, you won’t be taking it down a country road, either. The Lámpago appears to be targeting the city dweller who fancies getting around on a personal vehicle, but wants something a bit more spiffy than any ol’ electric moped or scooter. Or, like a Can-Am, it could be for the kind of person who isn’t quite into riding on two wheels. Either way, the Lámpago looks like a piece of art.
This trike first appeared in my feed from electric vehicle news site The Pack, but at the time there were not many details about the little EV. Now, Lámpago has filled in some more details about its vintage-style trike, including that important price.
Styled Like A Rare Microcar
This trike was unveiled by a Turkish startup company of the same name: Lámpago. The company takes its name from the Spanish term for “lightning bolt.” I could not find a detailed history of the company, but Lámpago says the company and the trike are the brainchild of Turkish designers Yavuz Cinkaya, Osman Colcak, and Selen Sarkaya. The company started in 2022 with the goal of creating a new environmentally-friendly way to get around town.
At the heart of this operation is the Lámpago electric trike, and aside from a stunning design, it has some neat attributes. We’ll start with the body. The Lámpago has a body made out of a polyester composite. Color is a huge part of the design and the Lámpago comes in a wide array of options from forest green to pink, yellow, cyan, gold, and some shades in between. I’m definitely partial to the pink and cyan options.
That body has been described by other outlets to be like a Vespa sidecar but as a complete vehicle. I can see where they’re coming from, but I think the design is much closer to a microcar owned by our very own Autopian co-founder Beau Boeckmann. To my eyes, it looks like a modernized Brütsch Mopetta. Check out the pictures I took of Beau’s Mopetta last year:
The Lámpago has the same central headlight that proudly protrudes forward as well as the same two-tone stripe and roadster cockpit. Lámpago definitely tweaked the design a bit, adding doors and of course, swapping the tiny gasoline engine in favor of electric power.
If you’re curious, the Mopetta is really rare and Beau’s is one of perhaps just a few survivors. Leave it to the Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum to have the details about the Mopetta:
Egon Brütsch decided he would build “the world’s smallest car” for the 1956 IFMA (International Bicycle and Motorcycle Exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany). The Prototype was apparently created overnight and the next day he leaned some wheels against it, had his Secretary sit in it and he took One Photograph of it. While he had time to attach the wheels for the IFMA Exhibition, he did not find time to sort out the mechanicals, so the Mopetta was placed high up for display so that this was not an issue.
After much interest at the IFMA from several countries, Brütsch began to actually set about to make the Mopetta work and fitted a 50cc ILO motor with kickstarter to it. Since the body was Fiberglas, Brütsch hit upon the idea of also marketing the vehicle as a “boat”. The fact that it was not watertight did not discourage him in the least. Publicity photos were taken apparently showing the Mopetta crossing a stream, but in reality, the water was perhaps only a few inches deep at the most.
Georg von Opel planned to build the Mopetta at the HOREX factory to sell it as the Opelit at his OPEL dealership, but he lost interest in 1958 and only 14 units were ever built.
I could find no official explanation for the Lámpago’s design, but if it wasn’t inspired by a Mopetta it seems to come pretty darned close. That’s not a complaint! We’re fans of old microcars brought back and modernized.
A Modern Mopetta
Over a half-century of technology also means the modern Mopetta has some tricks up its sleeve. A Mopetta has a 49cc two-stroke single-cylinder engine making just 2.3 HP. That’s apparently good for a top speed of 28 mph. The Lámpago sports a 1.34 HP electric motor that is said to get it up to about 31 mph.
Powering that motor is your choice of a 24 Ah gel battery or a 30 Ah lithium battery. The gel battery is apparently good for up to 31 miles of range while the lithium unit gets you to about 45 miles. Lámpago says the gel battery weighs 77 pounds while the lithium unit is 29 pounds. Lámpago says that no matter your choice of battery, it can be removed and charged separately from the Lámpago trike. The gel unit is said to charge in up to 10 hours while the lithium battery can complete its charge in three hours.
This rides on ten-inch alloy wheels featuring a disc up front and a pair of drums in the rear. The Lámpago is a two-seat trike minicar thing and it accommodates a modest 440 pounds of payload. A neat addition is a full spare tire, which hangs off of the rear of the scoot.
Inside the cockpit is where more modern tech makes an appearance. The Lámpago’s lighting is all LED and the instrument cluster is a digital display. Other neat bits include a built-in electric thermos, a vintage-style umbrella, and an analog clock. Lámpago says the trikes are handbuilt and you even get a choice of quilted upholstery to go with your flashy exterior color. Lámpago says the driver seat slides forward and back, but the tandem passenger seat is fixed.
Expensive, But Just Look At It
As of right now, the Lámpago is not in production and Lámpago the company doesn’t yet specify where you’ll be able to buy them. Lámpago does say it can export the vehicle to your country, but it’s unclear how getting one in America would work. At any rate, for now, you can only pre-order the Lámpago EV, anyway.
The company says that a base model Lámpago with a gel battery will run you the equivalent of $6,615. The lithium model is $7,353 and both prices are before custom requests, which Lámpago says does include a bigger battery if you want one. That said, Lámpago says it cannot make the trike any faster. That’s because the Lámpago is supposed to fall under moped classifications in many jurisdictions. So, depending on where you live in the world, you probably won’t need a motorcycle endorsement to ride a Lámpago. Of course, the downside is that the Lámpago’s home is definitely a city.
$7,000 buys you a lot of scooter today. I mean, that money will even buy you a new motorcycle capable of hitting the highway. You can buy a brand new Royal Enfield Classic 350, a great little city runner, have over $1,000 to spare, and not get turned into a fine paste when you hit a backroad. Of course, that’s clearly not the point of this wonderful little vehicle. It looks unique and if you dig the style of a Mopetta microcar, this is probably your best bet.
(Photos: Lámpago, unless otherwise noted.)
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