World's largest automobile encyclopedia 13.000 makes - 5000 concept cars - soviet cars - automotive news

08/07/2010 1983

Rinspeed - Nissan 300ZX Speed-Art


High-Tech art with 420 hp

To mark its 25th anniversary in Switzerland, Nissan Motor (Schweiz) AG and Rinspeed AG will be introducing a very special high-tech sports car at this year's Geneva Motor Show: the 420 hp Rinspeed Nissan 300 ZX "Speed-Art".

The design, fittings and power of this unique car were modified to racing standards by the renowned conversion and tuning specialists, Rinspeed AG of Zumikon. This served as a "moving" canvas for the well-known Swiss artist Rolf Knie. Fascinated by the theme, "art, automobiles and speed" he completed the fastest moving work of art in Switzerland by painting 420 horses directly onto the car bodywork.

The "Speed-Art" tradition

The tradition of decoration carriages with magnificent paintings is as old as the wheel itself, which dates back approximately 3'000 B.C. Years later, both Egyptians and Romans envied the two-horse battle chariots of the Sumerians - the fastest means of transport at that time - with their fascinating drawings. In more recent times pop-art artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg, and american sculptor Alexander Calder, created the real "art cars" of this century. The "Speed-Art", based on Nissan's successful high-tech 300 ZX twin-turbo production sports car, represents the natural progression of this tradition.

The birth of a high-tech work of art

In cooperation with Nissan Motor (Schweiz) AG, Frank M. Rinderknecht, proprietor of the classic car tuning specialists Rinspeed AG, designed and implemented the numerous modifications necessary to create "Speed-Art". He was able to draw on experience gained in the custom tuning of the exclusive Nissan top-of-the-range saloon "Maxima Rinspeed".

Engine modification

The first conversion stage involved increasing the engine output of the 300 ZX twin-turbo from 283 hp (208 kW) to 420 hp (310 kW).

To achieve this impressive rating the 3.0 liter six-cylinder engine was equipped with larger sports turbo chargers, whose boost pressure can be controlled to 1.5 bar. The "Speed-Art" was also fitted with larger intercoolers, modified injection system, a hi-flow exhaust system and a more powerful clutch.

Modified running gear, brakes and steering

In the second phase of alterations, the running gear, brakes and steering were modified to match the improved power specifications. The "Speed-Art" thus has HKS running gear set 30mm deeper, with shock absorbers adjustable to eight positions. Switchable ABS is now a feature, both front and rear brakes are more powerful, and HICAS all-around steering has been fitted, similar to that in standard models but which can be switched on or off as required.

To improve road holding, the "Speed-Art" was fitted with specially manufactured Rinspeed front and rear spoilers, two side skirts, a rear skirt and a rear spoiler. Three-piece Rinspeed 8 and 9x18" wheel rims were added in the front and rear, Pirelli P ZERO 235/40 R 18 high performance tires were fitted at the front, and 265/35 R 18 at the back.

Remodeled interior

The "Speed-Art" was also remodeled inside to match its racing model exterior. A roll bar provides extra protection. Finest quality leather-covered Recaro A8 sports seats, red 4-point seatbelts and red-Black leather upholstery all combine to create a decidedly sporty interior. Extra instruments such as boost pressure display, exhaust temperature display and the ABS and HICAS switches were incorporated in the existing dashboard. A Rinspeed sports steering wheel with integrated remote control for the built-in stereo rounds off this unique list of design features.

"Speed-Art" as a moving canvas

Design and engine tuning alone do not distinguish a vehicle as a work of art. Therefore the Swiss artist Rolf Knie, whose reputation extends far beyond his homeland, was called in to complete the project. Descended from a colorful Swiss circus family, Knie's previous work includes circus pictures on original big-top canvas and his fascinating portraits of woman, exhibited in the famous "premier étage" of the Eiffel Tower.

He had been thinking about the idea of car painting for some time and was extremely enthusiastic about the project. To visually depict the sheer power of the 420 hp "Speed-Art", Knie decided to paint 420 horses directly onto the bodywork of the car. He retreated to his studio with the vehicle and labored day and night to complete his masterpiece, and the result will be unveiled for the first time on Rinspeed's stand at this year's Geneva Motor Show.

... and on the race track

"Speed-Art" demonstrated its awesome power for the first time at the beginning of February on the Hockenheim circuit. In test runs it achieved a maximum speed of more than 300 km/h.

However, there are no plans to race this unique car, worth around 250'000 Swiss francs and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.9 seconds. The fastest high-tech work of art in Switzerland is to be preserved for public show.

source: Rinspeed


1992  Geneva

Picture places


Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn