Rinspeed eXasis Concept Car: glass-free transparency:
February 16, 2007 Swiss company Rinspeed¡¯s innovation in automotive design has graced our pages many times, each concept car seeking to break the mould, explore new technologies and expand thinking about out primary conveyance, the automobile. His latest concept car designed and built in conjunction with Bayer MaterialScience, is drivable "glass" car with a completely transparent body and floor made of Makrolon. To be shown for the first time at the Geneva Motor ShowBentley-versus-Rolls-Royce Mar-12-2008 , 40 years after Bayer presented the first "all-plastic car" in 1967 at the K67 Plastics Fair in Germany, the eXasis is a real eye-catcher with nothing to hide. The outer Makrolon shell, moulded by the Swiss firm Mecaplex and coated with a tinge of yellow by the German hard coatings specialist, KRD, reveals the vehicle's load-bearing aluminium chassis. The chassis looks as if it has been cut from a solid piece of material, and in fact the bulkheads are.
"Everyone who sees the eXasis for the first time raves about the glass car, but they actually mean our transparent high-tech plastic," says Ian Paterson, the member of the Bayer MaterialScience Board of Management responsible for Innovation, describing the typical reaction to the prototype. "Many people only talk about innovation. We do it, in conjunction with our partners." In fact, nearly all the Bayer MaterialScience business units were involved in the development of the concept car, providing products such as surface coatings and polyurethanes (for molding tools). but it was the plastics experts from BMS with their Makrolon polycarbonate who were responsible for the transparency of the eXasis. Frank M. Rinderknecht: "In this ethereal transparency, the true spirit of the eXasis becomes visible. An abstract idea becomes material, visions become a tangible car. Yet the eXasis still doesn't seem to have quite arrived in our material world."
So is it just a clever 3D projection, a fata morgana or perhaps a four-wheel ¡®objet d'art¡¯? In any case, the third vehicle to emerge from the cooperation between the two companies differs fundamentally from the other two: the futuristic-looking "Senso" and the pure-blooded "zaZen" sports carHow-to-Import-Your-Own-Supercar . The eXasis is a completely new development, in other words it is not based on a production-line vehicle. The insect-like, shiny yellow body with the exposed wheels looks like a mix of the legendary Auto-Union racing cars from the first half of the last century and an off-road vehicle, offering room for two people, one behind the other. The reinterpretation of the frequently cited cigar form is crowned in the "sexy" rear section with an attractively integrated ventilator and a superb matching, highly polished Remus exhaust muffler. And the transparency also provides an unrestricted view of the compact 2-cylinder 750 ccm Weber engine, which, very unusually, sits above the transmission.