Rinspeed - X-Trem
World Premiere at the Geneva Motor Show 1999
Rinspeed X-Trem M.U.V. – the new definition
As many times before RINSPEED DESIGN has come up with something very special: the small Swiss automobile specialist has created - in cooperation with its partners - a "business card" of competence in concept, design and application of technologies of the future in for the industry and the public. Following this, a new and revolutionary perception and definition of the pick-up has been created: the
Multi Utility Vehicle (M.U.V.) Concept.
In the words of Frank M. Rinderknecht founder and owner of Rinspeed Inc.: "Pick-up vehicles are - especially in the U.S. - very popular. However, many times I remarked that these kind of cars were pulling a trailer loaded with objects for sporting activities or for the job. Yet, the pick-up bed stayed empty for most of the times. The actual vehicle was not being used for what it was designed for". In the analysis of this fact it became quickly obvious that the obstacles of the height of the bed and the tail-gate were not easy to overcome. How - for example - does one load a motorcycle quickly and safely on the bed?
In order to accommodate all aspects of life - from the sport to leisure activities to the job and public services - a universal lifting device had to be developed: the "X-Tra-Lift" (+patent pending)
Equipped with this unique loading device, any new or used pick-up truck can take all kinds of goods or platforms. These goods are swiftly loaded by an electrically or hydraulically powered swivel crane - which at the same time can be designed as a anti-roll-bar - from the ground to the bed and of course unloaded the same way. The obstacles of the weight, loading height and tail-gate are easily overcome.
The universal conception of this lifting system allows an extensive and comprehensive use as a multiplex system. The car transforms itself easily from a sport to a leisure as well as to commercial vehicle and back.
Frank M. Rinderknecht: "Due to our invention, the use of the pick-up truck is considerably enhanced and enlarged. The vehicle now can be loaded swiftly, easily and without effort and therefore can be used in every aspect of life".
As innovative the "X-Tra-Lift" presents itself, as futuristic and avant-garde the latest creation of Rinspeed Design, the X-Trem, is concepted. One of the most remarkable features is surely the fact that the Rinspeed X-Trem complies with valid European Union legislation and is a fully-fledged road-going 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.
One of the world’s smallest, yet functional hovercraft is loaded as a special "presentation cargo" on the Rinspeed X-Trem. This air propeller driven and hovering fun vehicle can be piloted easily over all kinds of surfaces: water, land, sand and snow.
The technical features
Under the wide engine cover which electrically tilts forward, power is supplied in plenty by a 5.5-litre-aluminum-block V8 engine from Mercedes-Benz, it develops no less than 347 bhp. This engine, coupled to an automatic transmission, whisks the four-wheel-drive two seater - the base consists of an extended chassis from the Mercedes-Benz M-class - from a standstill to 100 km/h in only 6.9 seconds, with a top speed of 235 km/h attainable when conditions permit. The torque is herculean: at 3'500 rpm already the maximum of 520 Nm is developed.
The technical base of the M-class by Mercedes-Benz inspired the typical "four-eyes-face" of the DaimlerChrysler Group - known from the model E- and CLK. The pronounced engine hood links unmistakably to the typical design lines of the American offshoot Chrysler.
The composite body gives the X-Trem an exceptionally rigid structure and a gross weight of only 1’860 kilograms, with the result that its power-to-weight ratio would be the envy of many a driver of exclusive Italian sports cars.
The two windshields are electrically adjustable and move in and out of the powered engine hood in order to protect the passengers from unpleasant wind drafts.
All wheels are hung independently and the 18-inch wheels and tires of sizes (285/50 at the front and rear) guarantee a perfect handling.
The interior presents itself also in a new way. At the first glance the centrally located LCD-screen with touch-screen functions is attracting attention. All functions of the car, the navigation-system, the radio, the access to email and the internet via a GSM- or satellite-connection are controlled at a finger-tip. All menus are easily and discretionary called up.
The materials used for the interior connect to the leisure time use of the Rinspeed X-Trem: deep black Neoprene, steel colored and checkered Carbon-tissue. As an unusual element the seat cushions are easily reversible. By this feature not only the look of the interior can be swiftly changed, but the tissues are adapted to the use of the vehicle.
The drivers are not neglected: An exclusive stainless steel humidor with a integrated humidifier invites to a cigar break.
The development work
For the realization of this project Frank M. Rinderknecht worked with the most modern technologies and the best specialists of the Swiss car industry. Despite that Switzerland does not have an international reputation in the automotive industry, every year an astonishing numbers of concept cars and prototypes are made in this country.
For the first time, Rinspeed called upon the services of the Swiss engineering company Esoro as a general contractor for the design, the engineering and the construction of the X-Trem. Esoro materialized this demanding task in cooperation with Richard Gresens - a the former designer of VW and partner in William M. Schmidt Associates - and the prototype and suspension specialist Schwaller Movement Engineering who also manufactures components for Sauber Formula One. In just six and a half months the X-Trem with its new lifting system and a hovercraft body have been fabricated by the competent and efficient engineering team.
Since ten years Esoro is active and renown for its efficiency and innovative solutions as a custom developer in automotive technologies and light-weight constructions. Its possibilities have been demonstrated on various prototypes especially in the field of light-weight constructions, composite materials and hybrid vehicles.
* Length : 5'780 mm Width : 2'195 mm
* Height : 2'055 mm
* Wheel base : 3'440 mm
* Track front : 1'565 mm
* Track rear : 1'615 mm
* Ground clearance : 170 mm
* Weight : 2'360 kg
* Top speed : ca. 235 km/h
* Acceleration 0-100 km/h : ca. 6.9 sec
* Displacement : 5'439 cm³
* Stroke : 92.0 mm
* Bore : 97.0 mm
* Cylinder : 8
* Valves : 24 in V
* Compression :10.5 :1
* Power output : 347 PS (255 kW) at 5'500 /min
* Power ratio : 63.8 PS/L
* Torque : 520 Nm at 3’500 /min
* Consumption : EC 11.0/19.5
* Chassis : MB ML extended
* Body : Composite
* Seating capacity : 2
* Front brakes : 303 mm
* Rear brakes : 285 mm
* Front suspension : IFS / Stabilisators
* Rear suspension : IRS / Stabilisators
* Steering : R+P
* Front tires : 285/50 -18
* Front wheels : 9 x 18" / 32 mm
* Rear tires : 285/50 -18
* Rear wheels : 9 x 18" / 8 mm
* Powertrain : 4WD
* Gearbox : Automatic
* Gears : 5
* Length : 2'850 mm
* Width : 1'430 mm
* Height : 970 mm
* Weight : 120 kg
* Engine : Zenoah 2T
* Power : 20 PS
* Displacement : 242 cm³
* Cylinder : 1
* Platform : Aluminium
* Body : Composite
* Propeller : Ų 650 mm
* Seating capacity : 1