It used to be a popular car in the 1950s

Messerschmitt disappeared in 1968 following a merger and was eventually purchased by Deutsche Aerospace, which is now part of Airbus, but the company remains famous for the fighter planes it build during World War II. But after WWII and following Germany’s defeat, Messerschmitt wasn’t allowed to built aircraft for 10 years. So the German firm switched to microcars following a cooperation with engineer Fritz Fend, who previously built engine-powered invalid carriages. Built from 1955 to 1965 in around 30,000 units, the KR200 is one of the most iconic bubble cars ever made.

What Do You Know About this 10-Horsepower Messerschmitt KR200 Bubble Car?
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Seemingly inspired by aircraft design, the KR200 features a canopy-style roof that opens onto one side and a central-mounted driver’s seat. In the back, it either had another seat or a small bench for up to two people. This layout allowed the body to taper like an aircraft fuselage with a wider front end with two wheels and a really narrow rear end with just one wheel. The bubble-style canopy allowed decent headroom, while the steering bar was reminiscent of that of an aircraft and drivers had to swivel it around its axis rather than rotate it as a conventional steering wheel.

The tiny 500-pound car features a 191-cc (0.2-liter) two-stroke, single-cylinder engine built by Fichtel & Sachs.

The engine is good for almost 10 horsepower, which is laughable by any standards. However, the KR200 can achieve a top speed of 56 mph, which is rather impressive given the output.

What Do You Know About this 10-Horsepower Messerschmitt KR200 Bubble Car?
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Engine 191-cc (0.2-liter) two-stroke, single-cylinder
Horsepower 10 HP
Weight 500 lbs
Top Speed 56 mph

Although it was a no-frills vehicle, the KR200 was eventually offered with an "Export" package that included a two-tone paint scheme, painted hubcaps, a fully trimmed interior, a heater, a clock, and a sunshade for the canopy.

What Do You Know About this 10-Horsepower Messerschmitt KR200 Bubble Car?
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Popular for a few good years, the KR200 was discontinued in 1964 as the German economy started to recovered and demand for microcars began to drop. Larger city cars like the Mini Cooper, Fiat 500, and the BMW 700 also contributed to the bubble car’s demise. The Messerschmitt KR200 competed against microcars like the Isetta (also built under license by BMW), Heinkel Kabine, Peel P50 and Trident, and the Fuldamobil.

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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