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What comes to mind when you think of Switzerland? Snow capped mountains of chocolate box beauty? Skiing? The cuckoo clock?

Well, yes, yes and yes. But there’s more, there’s Rinspeed. The boys at Rinspeed are determined that Switzerland’s contribution to the world isn’t only better timekeeping (although I’ve got to admit that’s pretty important contribution). It must be something to do with the altitude.

Rinspeed are renowned for their concept cars. So much so that I’m going to look at a few over the next few weeks. And as you’ve probably guessed, they’re renowned in a not entirely good way.

On the verge of the new millennium, Rinspeed felt the need to pull out all the stops. If it hadn’t made me laugh so hard, I would have asked them to push some of the back in. At the 1999 Geneva motor show, they unveiled the X Dream. Clearly, they dream a little bit, er, different, to the rest of us.

Rinspeed-X-Trem_Concept_1999_800x600_wallpaper_07.jpgThe X Dream was a ridiculously powerful open top pickup truck, which looked like a banana that been left in the sun too long. A hydraulic hoist in the rear lifted off the (wait for it) hovercraft. A HOVERCRAFT.

Rinspeed-X-Trem_Concept_1999_800x600_wallpaper_05.jpg I guess if you’re the type of person that actually considers buying something this staggering, having a hovercraft on the rear of your pickup probably makes sense. I mean, you wouldn’t want to get your pride and joy wet crossing a lake or anything would you? I guess the girl in this shot is watching out for pirates while the policeman takes his hovercraft for a spin. Mind you, they’d see him miles off, even his helmet is matching yellow.

I don’t know about the hovercraft, but the pickup (if I can call it that) had a 5.5 liter Mercedes engine and a claimed top speed to 147mph. The handouts at the time didn’t mention what would happen the hovercraft at that speed, but I’m guessing it would void the warranty … and probably the drivers bowels.

Ok, I’ll admit, a pickup truck with a hovercraft does sound like every teenage boy’s dream. Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) has one. On a Top Gear episode agreed with Jezzer that if you can see an obstacle, no matter how far off, you’re going to hit it.

What do you think? Hovercrafts your sort of thing? Always wanted to flatten the neighbors prize winning constantly yapping poodle but he keeps getting away from you? Do you live on an island surrounded by marsh land? Could you ignore the ugliness?


(Images courtesy of Rinspeed and Böhringer Friedrich for the panorama)

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