Rinspeed must have been encouraged by the reaction to the 1999 X Dream because they carried on turning out barking mad concept cars. Mind you, as mad as they are, they do have a concept, even if its not a good one. In 2002 they created the Presto, a car that could stretch by about two feet.
This sounds like a pretty neat trick, but it doesn’t impress the girls. How do I know that? Easy. Because neither of the guys in the back could get a date for the photo shoot.
Stretching the car was done with a set of rails and an electric motor. Rinspeed claimed it maintained the structural integrity of a roadster. I believe that’s code for “floppy.” Still, I doubt the people who would be attracted to this sort of thing are the ones that’d be found at a track day meet going sideways.
The car did have a another neat trick, as you can see in the next picture.
Apparently when you park the car, the people in the back disappear. These guys seem shocked to see their mates have gone. Maybe the car drove them up the wall. Oh wait, it did…
Unfortunately, it looks like this Star Trek wonder makes you want to hold hands and dance like Fred Astaire. Not always a good thing.
So, I hear you ask, did it have other notable features? What, teleportation not good enough for you?
Ok, one last thing. Instead of the tried-and-true brake lights this had LEDs that glowed STOP.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m thrashing along behind some funky convertible the last thing I’m expecting to do is read some tiny print on the rear to know the bloody thing is stopping. Give me a big, bold, everyone-knows-what-it-means, stop light any day. My suspicion is that if these things had ever been put on the road, a lot of them would have been whacked from behind and crushed up into the two seat configuration by short sighted motorists.
Now you know the details, what do you think? Do you want a car that could be a couple of feet shorter at the touch of a button (or an 18-wheeler)? Do you think the teleportation thing is just another outrageous advertising claim? (actually on my part, as Rinspeed never mentioned it). And more importantly, have you ever held hands with anyone while dancing on a high wall?
I always hold hands with my partner when dancing on a high wall. Don’t you? I love the inane vehicle ideas you show us. Keep it up.
Trust me, dancing, my feet, and high walls don’t go together.
I love these concept car articles.
I love Switzerland. I like their trains. I like their watches. I like their cable cars, cog trains and trams.
No way I would ride in that car at any speed over 5 MPH or in any space shared by bigger stronger cars. They should have named this car “El Libro Grande” because the first time it hits a pot hole at thirty five MPH when the extension is deployed the back section will claim it’s God given right to exercise it’s circular momentum and fold neatly like a book over the front section. This is the first car I have seen that needs a better role bar to protect the driver from the rear section of his own car while he is sitting upright.
Yes, Switzerland’s a great place. Thing is, they seem to have no interest in cars, which is probably what makes Rinspeed such a standout.
You’re right about the mechanical integrity, there’s no way this thing could really have been a car. It’s pretty much the same story for the rest of Rinspeed’s creations, but they do have a concept, not just the overused “paint it yellow” kind of (un)creativity so many manufacturers use.
That’s a damn wacky car, Nigel! I haven’t held hands and danced atop a high wall for many, many moons but a bunch of us used to cha-cha atop the balance beam all the time…does that count?
Hi Jenny. Yeah, Rinspeed probably consistently make concept cars that on over the edge of reason. It must be all that high altitude air.
Cha-cha on a balance beam? That counts extra … how much alcohol did that take, and are there any photos?