Swiss designer Rinspeed dreams up a fast, sleek and environmentally-friendly “glass” car that runs on bioethanol
We just luuuuv Rinspeed – every year the Swiss engineering futurists produce one or more remarkable automotive ideas which we feature and they never fail to produce something stimulating and thought-provoking about the future of transportation. The 2007 installment is the fully transparent creation eXasis. The insect-like body and even the floor pan of the seemingly ''glass'' concept car actually consist of a transparent high-tech plastic with a tinge of pale yellow. The eXasis has open wheels, a cigar-shaped body with fore and aft tandem seating, and has elements of the legendary Auto Union race cars from the first half of the last century combined with a modern Baja-1000 off-road vehicle. The car will be shown for the first time at the Geneva Auto Show next March.
The transparency dematerializes the car to a large extent. Behind the seemingly fading matter the spirit of the ''eXasis'' reveals itself: The ideas, thoughts and imagination that were the basis of its development. For Rinspeed boss Frank M. Rinderknecht the ''eXasis'' symbolizes this development process, a process that takes immaterial spirit and turns it into matter, transforms a mere vision into a concrete car: ''And in all its transparency the ''eXasis'' still seems as if it hadn't arrived fully yet in the material world.''
Definitely part of the material world is the engine of the concept car: A compact and powerful two-cylinder 750-cc engine provides some 150 environmentally friendly horsepower for swift conveyance. Bioethanol that reduces CO2 emissions powers the tiny supercharged engine. With a projected vehicle weight of just 750 kilograms thanks to plastic lightweight construction each horsepower has to account for just five kilograms - on a level with a Porsche.
Altogether these figures give plenty of reasons to expect of loads of driving fun and numerous visionary technologies and innovations from Rinspeed's ''eXasis.'' A very special thrill will be the view through the transparent floor pan - it will be an absolutely unique anniversary ride.
More details will be revealed closer to the launch, but for now, partner in the project include AEZ Leichtmetallräder GmbH, Bundesamt für Energie, Esoro AG, Kaba AG, KW automotive GmbH, Lesonal Gmbh, Mecaplex AG, Protoscar SA, Recaro GmbH, Revoflex AG, Sharp Electronics, Strähle + Hess GmbH & Co, OesterleSlr, Sellner GmbH, SC Schäfer , Swissauto - Wenko AG and Weber Automotive