Arola (microcar)

Arola was a French manufacturer of automobiles.

Company History

The company Arola SARL Daniel Manon from Lyon- Corbas began in 1976 with the production of mini-cars. In 1983 the company was acquired by Aixam.

Models 10, 11 and 12

The first vehicles that brought out Arola, were the three wheel type 10, 11 and 12 They possessed a tubular steel frame and were designed so that they could be driven in accordance with the then French law without a license. When driving the models 10 and 11 was a about 3 hp ( about 2.2 kW) single cylinder engine of Saxonette with 47 cc in the rear and a two- speed automatic transmission. The engine of the Model 12 was of Motobécane, its transmission also had a reverse gear. There was a link for all versions with the same functionality as with a moped. Arola also made ​​a point that a customer, who was familiar with the mopeds Motobécane Mobylette, also coped with the fast Arola.

The body of polyester had a solid roof. Optionally, there were slight, completely transparent Plexiglas doors mounted respectively in the shortest time. could be dismantled. The simple seat had no backrest. The basic equipment included an electric starter, a windshield wiper, and a chrome exhaust, which could be mounted longitudinally or obliquely to the direction of travel. The difference lay in the equipment; the models 10 and 11 had neither the speedometer nor ashtray. The models 11 and 12 had pockets for storing small items. The top speed with the Saxonette engine was about 40 km / h, the model 12 reached about 65 km / h It is unclear whether this included the doors as standard. The Tricycle Model 10, 11 and 12 had a length of 1840 mm, a width of 1070 mm, a height of 1570 mm and a weight of approximately 110 kg. The Model 12 was produced until 1982, the construction of the two other versions seem to have something finished earlier.

Model SP

In 1978 the series was supplemented by the SP model, which stemmed technically closely related to the parallel model built on 12. SP does not stand for " sport," but for ' Super pratique '. The vehicle was 2275 mm long with the same in other dimensions. The area obtained was used by a platform with Blache, which made a mini- pickup from the vehicle. Also the type of SP was built until 1982. He was the last three-wheeler of the brand.

Models 14, 15 and Compacity

The first four-wheeled Arola published in 1979. Models 14 and 15 were a development of tricycles and similar to those in profile and from behind strong. But you had a central steering with steering wheel, a configuration that was chosen before was foreseeable that this class of vehicle could give you a French admission for two people. The drive has been largely taken over by the Model 12 / SP. The " seat " still consisted of a lightly padded board, but was a bit more comfortable with a back support similar construction. Model 14 was see-through Plexiglas doors with ventilation slot, model 15 those with a sliding window of proper glass. With an unchanged width and height, the length was 1880 mm.

Something vague the information to the model Compacity whose function is the same as that of the SP for the model 12 This four-wheeled pickup truck from 1980 to 1982 at the offer, but it is unclear whether he was actually manufactured in series. Photos show a Compacity with black doors and sliding windows. This is possibly a prototype. The models 14, 15 and Compacity were discontinued in 1982.

Models 18 and 20

The model 18, published in 1981, is slightly bigger and edgier than its predecessors. The biggest difference to this, however, lies in the Construction Process: used in place of the steel tube frame Arola here a polyester floor reinforced with aluminum profile. The body was made of aluminum profiles, which were planked with polyester parts. Four engines, still housed in the rear, were available: from BCB, Motobécane or Peugeot ³ with 50 cm as well as another version of BCM with 125 cc. The latter is supposed to be good for 65 km / h. A version of S included refinements such as a clock. The Model 18 was 2000 mm long, 1250 mm wide and weighed 190 kg.

About the Model 20 there is little information. Outwardly, it looks very similar to the model 18, but has rear side window. Perhaps there is an intermediate model.


The term Minoto is a pun of " miniature " and " automobile" in French. The model name first appeared on the short-lived French manufacturer Bel engine (1976-1982) for a light vehicle with a steel frame and polyester body over an aluminum frame. The Arola Minoto was completely different concept than self-supporting polyester construction. It is driven by the well-known 50 - cubic - engines Motobécane or Peugeot, later a diesel engine by Lombardini 325 cc comes to that. The somewhat " adult " acting Minoto measures 2030 mm in length, 1300 mm in width and weighs 203 kg than gasoline.

A car of this brand is on display at the Musée Automobile de Vendée in Talmont -Saint -Hilaire.