Mention the name Messerschmitt to the average person, and the first thought might be the infamous German Bf 109 fighter aircraft of World War II. After the war, Messerschmitt wasn’t allowed to build aircraft so, among other things, the company built a little tandem-seat three-wheeled car with an open roof. The Kabinenroller as it was called offered modest motoring and was built through 1964.
Flash forward to 2020. With COVID-19 leaving much of the world idle for at least a couple of months, Messerschmitt-Werke decided to use the downtime to revive the little runabout, and make it a bit better to boot. The result is what you see here, now called the KR-202 or KR-E5000 depending on whether you prefer gasoline or electricity in your tandem-seat micro car experience.
Paying homage to the original KR200 design, the new KR ups the ante with hydraulic disc brakes at all three wheels, adjustable suspension, a fiberglass body, and a steel-aluminum frame. For power, the KR-202 features a 125-cc single-cylinder gasoline engine with electronic fuel injection and an output of 7.3 horsepower. The KR-E5000 swaps petrol for electricity with a 6.7-hp motor, powered by a 1.4-kilowatt battery. Top speed is listed as up to 75 mph, and both have a range of approximately 100 miles. For the E5000, however, you need the dual battery option to get there.
Despite the modern equipment, the new KR weighs less than the original and yes, that includes the electric version. According to New Atlas, the gas-powered KR-202 tips the scales at 485 pounds while the E5000 actually weighs less at 430 pounds. That’s for the single-battery version, which only offers a 50-mile range. An optional roof is also available that would add a bit extra to the weight.
Messerschmitt-Werke says order banks are now open for both versions. Pricing for the KR-202 starts at €10,950 ($13,150) though that’s a special introductory price for the first 20 orders. The E5000 starts a bit higher at €12,950 ($15,550).