Home » This Brütsch Mopetta-Style Electric Trike Looks So Fabulous You Won’t Care It Can’t Go Faster Than 30 MPH

This Brütsch Mopetta-Style Electric Trike Looks So Fabulous You Won’t Care It Can’t Go Faster Than 30 MPH

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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.

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New Lampago Electric Trike Is A

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.

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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:

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Mercedes Streeter

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.

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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.

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Mercedes Streeter

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.

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Mercedes Streeter

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Opa Carriker
Opa Carriker
10 months ago

Put an 8′ mast on it and you have a bumper car.

Jonee Eisen
Jonee Eisen
10 months ago

I like it. I’m a fan of anything inspired by an Egon Brutsch design. It’s actually probably more akin to the Brutsch Rollera, the “big” Mopetta:
https://silodrome.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Brutsch-Rollera.jpg

The Rollera was what Egon was trying to hawk at that motorcycle show where he came up with the Mopetta since no one was interested in the bigger version. After the first day of the show, he apparently went back to his hotel room and bodged together the Mopetta body out of raw fiberglass that he for some reason traveled with so he could proclaim he had the “world’s smallest car.” Then he drove around the show with the Mopetta body strapped to the front of Rollera. He did end up selling a license to build the Rollera to a French company, but aside from the brief flirtation with Opel, no one was brave enough to try manufacturing the Mopetta. The 14 that were built were all constructed by Brutsch himself and apparently sold out of a showroom in London.

Chronometric
Chronometric
10 months ago

When I was in Bermuda I learned about ‘tourist rash’, large red scars seen on the pasty white skin of island visitors. You see, scooter rentals were everywhere and the patrons were 2-wheel skills challenged.

These things would be perfect.

Rusty S Trusty
Rusty S Trusty
10 months ago

What may be a 3 wheel electric scooter to one is, to others, an invalid carriage.

MrLM002
MrLM002
10 months ago

God that’s ugly, and impractical.

You don’t need aerodynamics when you’re going less than 35 MPH, curved body panels are just extra cost for manufacture, installation, repair, etc.

Toecutter
Toecutter
10 months ago
Reply to  MrLM002

On the contrary, even under 35 mph aero still makes a big difference.

My custom built trike consumes 3-4x as much energy with the body removed at 30 mph than it did with the body installed, and I ride in a hilly area where the benefits of aero are muted a bit. Of course, it IS so light that aero makes a bigger difference than it would with a heavier vehicle. CdA value with that body is estimated to be 0.20 m^2, while the naked trike is somewhere around 0.70 m^2.

I bet if I built a custom body for this Mopetta and focused heavily on drag reduction, I could easily double its range in the worst operating conditions, possibly triple it, on the same battery and assuming the weight was unchanged.

Gilbert Wham
Gilbert Wham
10 months ago
Reply to  MrLM002

Also on the contrary, it would make you feel as though you were in a Richard Scarry book, as you happily potter about in it retrieving small amounts of groceries et al. Now who doesn’t want to make their inner 4 year old that happy?

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
10 months ago
Reply to  Gilbert Wham

Glad someone else saw that. I don’t have the suave Italian style thing going-at all, but certainty could see myself as a Richard Scarry character tootling about.

CSRoad
CSRoad
10 months ago

It needs a large perimeter rubber bumper. (-;
https://www.majesticrides.com/vintage.html

Mike F.
Mike F.
10 months ago

Undeniably cool, but what happens when you try to turn the thing? After seeing Clarkson in the Robin and actually riding three-wheel bicycles, I have a deep-seated, possibly intestinal issue with the one-wheel-in-front business. Or maybe I just don’t have enough trike experience?

Last edited 10 months ago by Mike F.
MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
10 months ago
Reply to  Mike F.

Top Gear’s Robin was rigged to roll easier. Here is an article where some folks tested an unmodified one, and they didn’t roll once. But it still wasn’t exactly a canyon carver…

https://www.hotcars.com/top-gear-3-wheeler-put-to-test/#:~:text=Top%20Gear%20made%20the%20Reliant,%2C%20the%20rolling%2Dover%20choreographed.

Mike F.
Mike F.
10 months ago

Yeah, but I also have ridden those three wheel bicycles that want to roll over as well – that’s the other factor that gives me the heebie-jeebies about such things. Maybe a ride on one of the scooters would convince me otherwise.

Toecutter
Toecutter
10 months ago
Reply to  Mike F.

This is why rider placement and overall center of gravity is important. Here’s a 3-wheeled tadpole trike configuration with skinny bicycle tires, an Electrathon race car, whose driver claims can corner at 1.7g lateral:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrooRo7ZNLk

The car trying to hold pace with it couldn’t do the same, and flipped, in the above video.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
10 months ago

I like it, it has Nobe 100 vibes except real, however, at that speed, I wouldn’t be able to safely leave my driveway, let alone actually drive anywhere.

Toecutter
Toecutter
10 months ago

I get what they were going for by trying to meet the moped classification. But you’re not getting much for the money spent, and this thing is highly inefficient considering the amount of battery it has.

I built an electric vehicle that with a 19 lb Lithium Ion battery, gets about 4 times the range per charge that this Mopetta does, but it does require pedaling in the process. 150-200 miles range at 30-35 mph on 1.5 kWh.

Aerodynamics matters a lot, even at low speeds. Mine was designed with consideration for certain legal loopholes that are of limited jurisdiction, to legally classify as a “bicycle” and get around license/insurance/registration requirements. On the previous body design, I could turn the motor off and still pedal it to 35 mph on flat ground and average over 20 mph for long distances, in spite of it weighing around 90 lbs. Turning the motor on, it could also reach 50 mph and had 4 horsepower peak, doing 0-30 mph in 6 seconds in that configuration if I pedal hard enough. It has been since upgraded to 13 horsepower peak, but I’m still using a low voltage battery of 46.8V, which keeps the speed limited to 50 mph, but the launch is absolutely violent, with the 0-30 mph time having dropped to about 2.5 seconds, and at full effort pedaling with the PAS sensor telling it to dump 200A to the motor, the thing is difficult to keep control of. With the series of upgrades being performed, including a 108V battery of 2 kWh, it will soon be capable of over 100 mph and 0-60 mph around 8 seconds because it has that 13 horsepower peak and will carry it to a higher speed. I still need to finish the new body as well, which should help improve range considerably at the aforementioned 30-35 mph speed envelope to somewhere around 300 miles, and I’m hoping to get 100 miles range at 70 mph.

After the upgrades are completed, I will have less than $6k in the build including previous upgrades, and old/unused/replaced parts. The cost to replicate it to this new spec by building from scratch will be around $4,000, just for the parts/materials, but not counting labor. Because of Federal Law, I could not get away with selling it as an ebike, even if in some jurisdictions that haven’t defined ebikes yet it would be legal, unless I restricted it to 750W/28 mph, BUT there’s always a switch that can be added to toggle between “street legal” mode and “offroad” mode. 😉

I promise to hoon the crap out of it. The new battery I’m putting together will DEFINITELY be capable of making 40 horsepower continuous until it is drained, and having just one motor and one controller to demand all of 13 horsepower from it is under using its capabilities.

If it works out well, I might build a version with a motor in each of its 3 wheels, for AWD, and maybe 30-40 horsepower peak and a 144V pack so that I might troll Dodge Charger Hellcats with it and run upper 11s in the 1/4 mile and reach a top speed of 120-ish mph within that 1/4 mile.

Last edited 10 months ago by Toecutter
Hoonicus
Hoonicus
10 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

So apparently I have $90,000 autopian bucks to blow on an EV today. I’m thinking Fiat Dino with AWD , torque vectoring, 0-100mph in 8 sec.,250mi. range. Can you make my dream reality?

Hoonicus
Hoonicus
10 months ago
Reply to  Hoonicus

Dang, Fiat Dinos got pricey while I wasn’t looking! Here’s an aero vw kit car Donner. https://philadelphia.craigslist.org/cto/d/line-lexington-vw-kit-car/7647733635.html
Jason can have the vw engine.

Last edited 10 months ago by Hoonicus
Toecutter
Toecutter
10 months ago
Reply to  Hoonicus

That VW kit car is not as aero as it looks. It’s a Sterling, and probably comparable to a stock Beetle in overall CdA. To make it get the range you want, you will need roughly a 65 kWh battery pack, and that VW kit car will end up weighing somewhere around 2,400 lbs converted to EV in that spec with enough power to get the desired performance and the modifications(brakes/suspension/roll cage/ ect) to handle it, if you use some of the most dense battery options on the market(Tesla Model 3 cells are IMO the best combination of gravimetric energy density and power).

That said, with the $90k budget, one could definitely make that a reality. I think I could do it, but I have not tackled a project of this scope or complexity before. My own aren’t even finished, and they’re much simpler and less software-intensive(I like my EVs “dumb” and with minimal electronics and open source software where it is present at all). Modern EV systems from OEM EVs like Tesla are NOT plug and play, but there are an assortment of tools out there to get them to work, tools which I have not used, but have studied online.

You might even be able to find a salvage yard/wrecked Tesla Model S PLAID at auction for less than half that budget to get most of the parts you will need for this.

A lot of custom fabrication will be required. You’re going to need custom motor mounts, coupler, half shafts and matching UV joints to use that motor. You’re going to need a set of disc brakes that will fit that rear drivetrain since the VW Beetle parts will not work with Tesla’s systems. Custom battery housings and mounts will need to be fabricated and welded to the Beetle pan. The wiring will have to be re-done to accommodate all of the new EV components and to run your low voltage system(lights, wipers, radio, heater, ect.).

I do not currently have regular access to the tools to do that or a place to keep them, which has held up my own projects. Long story on that, but I used to. That said, I think I’ll get there someday in the medium-term future.

If I were to get a VW Beetle, I’d recommend keeping the stock body and aeromodding it, or alternatively, finding an even better kit car donor than the above. Can’t go wrong with a Puma, 550 Spyder replica(you could turn it into a coupe replica which is much more aero), 356 Speedster replica(turn it into a coupe replica), fiberfab Aztec, or fiberfab Avenger. The Sterling isn’t bad though. There are LOTS of fantastic kit cars for VW Beetle pans, but if I were given the budget for a project like this, I’d design and build my own because I could make something much more slippery.

Toecutter
Toecutter
10 months ago

I never was a fan. I’ve always wanted a design that is more functional than cute, prefer having lots of power, and that thing was not meant for highway speeds. I appreciate what it was for: tight spaces and short trips. I can respect it for that. But with such a short wheelbase coupled with a tall shape given the wheelbase, the amount of streamlining you will be able to have on such a form will be greatly limited, and it shows with the design comprises the engineers made. At top speed, it required nearly twice as much energy per mile as a GM EV1 at that same speed, in spite of the EV1 being nearly 800 lbs heavier.

That said, in 2001 when I wanted an EV but could not get one, I’d have gladly taken a Th!nk City over ANY exotic ICE car of my dreams, just because it was electric.

If you want one, get one while you can. They are rare, and given their place in modern EV history, are likely to appreciate in the future, IMO.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
10 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

So you’re basically looking to get thrown out of the track the first time you run it? Or is your cage good until you hit 10 second ETs? Either way, I’ll be happy to see the footage when it happens
Go, Toe, GO!

Toecutter
Toecutter
10 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

The idea is a dirt-cheap hoonabout that can be used as a daily, and is as close to “free” in expense to operate as possible, which takes advantage of legal loopholes. An anarchist vehicle.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
10 months ago

Kind of looks like the love child of a Daalek and an EMD F9 diesel locomotive. Do I sense a theme today?

Jonathan Hendry
Jonathan Hendry
10 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

A Minion Mobile.

Toecutter
Toecutter
10 months ago

No joke, I’m helping a friend with a car that we named “The Minion”:

https://i.imgur.com/vVuZKWt.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/Rx92V7Y.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/82gCI0U.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/KIL7vw8.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/dDrugym.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/1q0UxB3.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/ouPexI0.jpg

I helped design it, but he built it. We don’t get to work on it often anymore, due to variables outside of our control. 🙁

Once finished, it’s meant to be a prototype and test bed. We eventually intend to make something much more aerodynamically slippery and lighter, and have a whole lineup of Demons made(his late father’s race car was called The Demon).

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