Last February we reported you the arrival in Italy of the new Swapa ZIP, particularly interesting electric microcar / quadricycle sold in our country by Filante Motors. The first deliveries of the vehicle are scheduled for next August, but we have managed to preview the model on the occasion of Emoving Days scheduled in Milan on 23 and 24 March 2024. We therefore want to tell you about our experience on board even if it was a somewhat fleeting test, not as thorough as we would have liked. So consider this article as a first look. Speaking of "first glance", the design of the quadricycle is very particular live, one has the impression of looking at one city car just out of a press, crushed in width.

We board the Swapa ZIP

The Swapa ZIP is in fact just 1.34 meters wide, it is 1.41 meters high and finally 2.52 meters long, a design specifically designed to replicate more or less the same footprint that we would have with a motorcycle or scooter, with the whole convenience of having a roof over your head and a classic seat. Indeed once inside the Swapa ZIP one has the impression of being seated on an ultra compact city car, there is absolutely no sense of claustrophobia, with a habitability superior to what we would have expected.

The quadricycle, also thought to be driven from 14 years of age in its basic version, it allows you to transport a passenger just behind the driver, a space that becomes "cargo" for 14-year-olds who cannot carry additional people. Speaking of cargo space: we housed a large backpack without any difficulty and in height we could still have put a lot of stuff. Of course, it must be kept in mind that by transporting a passenger the cargo space is in fact zeroed.

As you can see from the photos, just behind the second seat are the two batteries supplied by Swapa: these can be detached and recharged at home, even if it is not very comfortable given the weight of 18.5 kg for each battery. Definitely more convenient to connect the car directly to the network in a private garage or take advantage of the public AC columns that are located around the city. We have not been able to thoroughly test autonomy, Swapa declares in any case 100 km of range with a charge. Recall that the launch version available in Italy will not go beyond 45 km / h, while only soon will an enhanced variant arrive.

Despite the 45 km / h, however, the engine reactivity is good and sufficient to travel around the city without major problems. We have some notes to make only regarding the braking system: despite the four disc brakes on board, braking seemed to us to be little determined and a little too "long", Filante Motors, however, reminded us that currently in Italy there are only prototypes, the standard version should certainly be more calibrated.

A full optional microcar

On the road, the ZIP is therefore comfortable and fun to drive, as well as simple to improbable. Two pedals, a classic gear selector, reverse with camera, power steering wheel with Tesla Cybertruck style flattened steering wheel complete with multimedia system controls. System that appears somewhat advanced for the category, the ZIP is in fact equipped with a wide 12.3 "touch screen", not excessively bright but certainly a "gem" for the type of vehicle.

On board we also have a 4G connection that allows us to do different things with the companion app on smartphones, as well as downloading OTA updates to keep the software always up to date. For the use that must be made of the quadricycle, purely urban with a handful of kilometers to travel every day, a display of this size may also seem exaggerated, we must admit, however, that it makes a lot of scene and elevates the quadricycle to a higher level. The construction of the Zip itself looks excellent, with a monocoque frame which makes the quadricycle as resistant as a normal city car.

On board you don't have the feeling of being driving something extremely cheap, or rather cheap, on the contrary: the Swapa ZIP is a candidate to be one of the most interesting "premium" quadricycles in our market, a word that we inconvenient not by chance given the sale price. Filante Motors has anticipated that the launch version should cost in Italy around 13,000 euros. It is not a small thing, it is true, but we are talking about a solidly constructed quadricycle that offers not obvious solutions in the sector.

In addition to power steering, multifunction steering wheel and a complete infotainment system, the ZIP also offers an air conditioner to face in the best way the heat of summer and the cold of winter and it has mirrors that close automatically, when other cheaper solutions on the market have none of this (the mirrors that close electrically are also missing on some basic installations of different cars, to tell the truth). Fortunately with state incentives it is possible to save up to 40% by scrapping a polluting vehicle, or 30% without scrapping anything.

A quadricycle for everyone

We close the article with some "hot" considerations". The price left a little bitterness in our mouths, we know, however, that with electricity and batteries, times are still difficult and manufacturers are unable to lower their price lists too much. Just add a handful of euros to buy a normal Fiat Panda, however it is clear that quadricycles like ZIP are aimed above all at a public that the Panda cannot yet guide it. We refer to teenagers, who are undoubtedly safer on a vehicle of this type than any motorcycle; they can also use it safely even when it rains, detail not to be underestimated.

For those over 18, a Zip can represent an excellent "space-saving" solution and money since you save on operating and operating costs; being able to connect the ZIP to a socket inside a box, the charging costs are dramatically reduced, therefore you could travel in the city at almost zero cost and without polluting. Parking then, almost superfluous to remember, is a walk thanks to the ultra compact dimensions of the vehicle and its rear camera that activates automaticallywhen reversing is engaged. Too bad that the weight of the batteries does not allow everyone to transport them inside the house, a detail that makes the ZIP a quadricycle to be recharged in the box or to the normal AC columns. The perfect vehicle, however, does not exist and, despite its physiological "defects", the Swapa ZIP is currently one of the most complete quadricycles in its category.

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