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Rinspeed's 'plastic sportscar'

2007-02-15 13:00
Imagine cruising down the street and being able to check out the ground and the scenery through your car's transparent body panels? Off-the-wall Swiss automotive company Rinspeed has produced the completely transparent eXasis concept for this year's Geneva Motor Show.

Rinspeed's eXasis is a completely transparent car developed as part of a collaboration with Bayer MaterialScience AG. Constructed using state of the art plastics that resemble glass, the concept celebrates Rinspeed's 30th anniversary and the 40th year since Bayer revealed its first all-plastic car at the K67 Plastic Fair in Germany in 1967.

eXasis follows the "Senso" and "zaZen" as the third tie-up between the two companies. A completely new development, outer shell is constructed of Makrolon molded by Swiss company Mecaplex and tinged yellow using a coating by hard coatings specialist KRD.

Its insect-like yellow body with the exposed wheels has been inspired by the legendary Auto Union racing cars from the early 1900s and transparent panels ensure that the car's chassis and remain visible.

Tandem seating is provided for two in seats developed especially for the concept by Recaro. Each seat uses twelve transparent Makrolon ribs, while the head restraints and armrests are made of transparent Technogel.

Even the wheels are decorated with transparent inserts that resemble small windows, though the five-spokes retain some semblance of credibility being shod with 22-inch Pirelli High-Performance tyres.

Rinspeed AG's new concept car can only be used by authorised drivers that are identified by touch and personally welcomed. Using a chip that identifies body signals and sends them to a recognition unit, dashboard functions can also be adapted to suit the preferences of every driver.

On the inside, two transparent indicator and function displays appear to hover within the driver's line of vision and touching them allows for various functions to be displayed and controlled. The car's personalised access system is also be integrated into the touch panels.

eXasis is powered by a turbocharged 750cc Weber engine that produces 110 kW. It rides on a high-tech suspension developed by Germany's KW engineers with special high-strength aluminium coilover struts made for low weight constructions.

The concept runs on emissions-reducing bioethanol.

It's unlikely that Rinspeed's latest creation will ever be made available in production form, but it does offer alternatives for the continued development of weight- and emissions reducing techniques.


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