Do you think the folks at Apple are flattered every time some other company names a product the i-something? Or do they have an army of lawyers waiting to sue? Good question.
Swiss auto-creator Rinspeed now presents the iChange. The iChange is a strange sort of vehicle. It is a zero-emissions vehicle that seats one. Or it can extend itself to seat 3 at the push of a button.
Yes, that is where the name comes from. It is the world's first car which can change its body to seat more passengers. With a pop-up rear end, two more seats are added to the car's seating configuration.
The car was designed with the help of an engineering firm Esoro, which builds Rinspeed's concept cars. It's weight comes in at an environmentally healthy 1,050 kilograms and is equipped with an electric motor with 150 kW (or the equivalent of 204 hp), which makes this tear-drop shaped car a sports model, really.
The pop-up rear end was conceived in order to address the effects of aerodynamics on fuel consumption. Combined with the extensive use of high-grade, lightweight composite materials developed by Esoro, the car provides incredible energy efficiency.
Power supply comes from lithium-ion batteries which can be stacked in two configurations, one for short-range and one for long-range driving. Top speed is 220 km/h and the car reaches 100 km/h in just over 4 seconds.
Lightweight and special-made 17 and 18-inch forged wheels are supplied by light-alloy wheel-makers AEZ. The Pirelli P Zero 215/40-17 tires in the front and 245/40-18 in the rear make this car a performer too.
Rinspeed founder Frank M. Rinderknecht puts the name of this car in the form of a question. "If we want to maintain our individual mobility in the future we have to rethink the car in its entirety, without taboos. Everyone has to personally answer the same question: Am I ready and willing to change myself? Can ‘I change'?"
Now, that's a concept we all have to reckon with.