Rinspeed reveals latest wacky concept
A striking new concept car promises to be the future of short journey motoring once it is fully revealed early next year.
Coming from Rinspeed, the quirky Swiss concept company that has previously designed a car that you can take scuba diving and the cartoon-clad 'Bamboo' car, the new Rinspeed microMax is surprisingly conservative.
But the Swiss company, which calls itself 'visionary' has kept a hint of its outlandish designs for the minibus-like electric people carrier.
The microMAX is a box on wheels that measures just 3.6 metres in length - not far off the length of a Mini hatchback.
However it can carry a driver, three passengers and a stroller or shopping cart in seats with seatbelts.
That is not all Rinspeed has crammed into the concept car; the microMAX comes with its own 'happy hour' refrigerator, internet connectivity and, mirroring the new Fiat 500L, an in-car coffee maker.
The car is intended to be accessible via a mobile app. Customers can simply order one whenever they need to head out on a short journey from a car share centre.
It could also find work at places such as airports, where shorter journeys with luggage are necessary.
Frank M. Rinderknecht, boss of Rinspeed, said: "Modern ride share centers nowadays are web-based or Smartphone-based.
"They operate in real time: You need to go to work on a regular basis or want to go somewhere right now and in no time at all you find the driver that'll give you a ride. "microMAX" with its unique upright seats is the perfect 'thing' for swift short-distance transfers - the car to go with the app."
The car will come fitted with an electric motor to power it for short distances and, because of the shorter range, will not take up too much space with bulky battery cells.
The Rinspeed microMAX is set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2013 and it is not the first time the brand has wowed with its wacky automobile designs.
Take, for example, the Rinspeed sQuba, a roofless car that can take the driver underwater providing they are wearing scuba gear.
The company has also designed a 'backpack' for a Smart car, turning it into a six-wheeler with extra storage space, a bamboo-themed beach buggy and a car that doubles as a boat.
Written by Stephen Hurrell