Rinspeed Mono Ego Concept

From Rinspeed press: World Première at the 1997 Geneva Motor Show. Rinspeed Mono Ego – the First Single-seater Car in the World that's Licensed for the Road! To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Rinspeed Design AG company, Frank M. Rinderknecht (41) has come up with something very special: the Swiss automobile tuner has created a vehicle that blends traditional beauty and forward-looking technology in a most impressive way – the Rinspeed Mono Ego. Developed in only a year, this distinguished vehicle is his company's anniversary contribution to the Geneva Salon de l'auto, an eye-catcher that could well generate active discussion among the visitors. As the name implies. The Mono Ego is intended for men or women who are able to treat themselves to something special from time to time, and allow themselves the leisure to enjoy it. To drive the Mono Ego is to listen to the V8 engine's heartbeat, to watch the long engine hood cleave its way through the countryside – and to have no other cares whatever!

In the words of Frank M. Rinderknecht: "For me, the Mono Ego represents a means of widening one's horizons and a fresh challenge. My goal was to satisfy the demands of the law and the principles of good design at one and the same time. I wanted the Mono Ego to be a totally exclusive car, but one entirely suitable for road use. I also intended it to stand clearly apart from the work of tuners who merely convert existing products. It is a recollection of the great racing cars of the 1950s, but also as an embodiment of state-of-the-art technology – and of course of Rinspeed's skills in these areas." Rinderknecht has a convincing explanation of the short period of time needed to develop the Mono Ego: "When the pressure's on, development results are often better than if too much agonizing goes into them!" In this case, certainly, this argument holds good.

One of the most remarkable features of Frank M. Rinderknecht's latest creation is surely the fact that the Rinspeed Mono Ego complies with valid European Union legislation and is a fully-fledged roadgoing design. "We wanted to build an exclusive car, but one that could be taken out on the roads as well as acting as a pilot project at exhibitions." This ambitious target has certainly been achieved by the Rinspeed Mono Ego – its luggage compartment can for instance easily accommodate a golf bag. What this mobile work of art is to cost, however, has yet to be finalized.

Under the dramatic body, power is supplied in plenty by a 32-valve aluminum-block V8 engine; it is supercharged and develops no less than 410 bhp (maximum boost pressure 0.35 bar). This engine whisks the single-seater Mono Ego from a standstill to 100 km/h in only 4.8 seconds, with a top speed of 258 km/h attainable when conditions permit. The aluminum body gives the Mono Ego an exceptionally rigid structure and a gross weight of only 960 kilograms, with the result that its power-to-weight ratio would be the envy of many a driver of exclusive Italian sports cars. The power-to-weight ratio is all the more remarkable because the Rinspeed Mono Ego is 4623 millimeters long, almost equaling a Mercedes-Benz 500, for instance, yet about 700 kg lighter. It has a 5-speed manual-shift gearbox, and independent suspension all round with 16-inch wheels and tires of unusual sizes (245/65 at the front, 275/70 at the rear). The Rinspeed Mono Ego sets a new trend by echoing earlier racing cars in its outline: high sided, with a broad area of exposed metal.

Gallery: Rinspeed Mono Ego Concept