Rinspeed Fools The Press. Again

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Auto blogging sites large and small are going gaga over Rinspeed’s announcement of a backpack. The Swiss tuner promises a rear extension for compact electric cars such as the smart fortwo EV. The extensions are modular. One is a motorized appendage that had been fueling the fantasy of EV enthusiasts for a while: If you want to go beyond the meager range of your EV, simply tow a trailer with a conventional engine. Voila, a docked range extender. Hence the name Dock+Go.

At the upcoming Geneva auto show, the Swiss trailer will be ready for inspection. It also can be used for other purposes, such as a ski transporter, a party pack, or for Pizza delivery. Latest when it comes to pizza delivery, a halfway decent auto writer should realize that not only are trailer being pulled, but also the legs of the press.You can deliver a bunch of pizza boxes on a bicycle, no need for a towed array of expensive technology.

Only Germany’s Autohaus, an industry rag that has seen everything, reminds its auto-dealing readers that “like other Rinspeed creations of the past, the concept suffers from minuscule chances of becoming reality.”

Old Geneva hands know that Rinspeed is known for whacko concepts that will never make it into production, but that always are good for headlines written by gullible editors. Did Rinspeed’s underwater car of 2008 ever go into series? Or the car that senses you mood?

Join the conversation
15 of 17 comments
  • Icemilkcoffee Icemilkcoffee on Feb 20, 2012

    If you've ever pulled a trailer, you'll know it is extremely difficult to back up with a trailer that short.

    • Blowfish Blowfish on Feb 21, 2012

      a short tongue trailer, is real PITA, u mind as well unhook it or else will end up in circles.

  • Racer-esq. Racer-esq. on Feb 20, 2012

    Bertone, which designed the Lancia Stratos concept and its production realization, the Lamborghini Countach, is bankrupt. Pininfarina, which designed everything from the 1952 Ferrari 250 to the 2011 Ferrari FF, is on the verge of bankruptcy. Rinspeed, which designed this: http://www.rinspeed.com/pages/cars/presto/pre-presto-fotos.htm Is still alive and kicking.

    • See 5 previous
    • Niky Niky on Feb 20, 2012

      @niky It's possible. But conservatively handsome won't troll as well as outlandish. Rinspeed makes its money off of car-tuning instead of the design aspect (though that's part of it). They've come up with some cool stuff and some absolutely hideous but definitely attention-getting stuff. Keeps them in the press. Gets them customers. Works.

  • KixStart KixStart on Feb 20, 2012

    I like the idea. Somebody, probably out in California, designed a range-extender called "The Long Ranger." Total weight was 300lbs and it had some sort of device to make it back up straight with the vehicle and to track differently around curves. It had a 500cc water-cooled Kawasaki engine, 30-40hp, and could keep a Rav4-EV moving around at better than 30mpg (a conventional Rav of that vintage only gets about 30mpg, at best). The very small size of that trailer left it in the vehicle's wake, so there should be minimal drag. If one owned, say, 3 electric vehicles, one might only need one range-extending trailer to share among them. Or one could rent them (U-Haul could branch out and also develop range-extending trailers with varying amounts of load capacity). The one enhancement I would like to see is a way of coupling the range-extender's cooling system into the EV heating system. Don't waste the waste heat! Also, standardized plugs and controls are a must (and the Leaf's socket is clearly on the wrong end of the car).

    • Wolf Wolf on Feb 20, 2012

      You can find information about the trailer you spoke about and other "pusher-trailers" here : http://evmaine.org/html/ev_trailers.html It's a shame the link on the mk1 Golf is not working anymore ! it was very clear, and clever. The trailer is a front end of an automatic mk1 1.6D with a cab' booty to close it and make it look nice. All the controls are on the dash of the EV, and the thing gets a good mileage :) in the 50 -iirc The owner said that thanks to the weight of the EV and batteries in the trunk, even when pushing on one spot, it was nicely drivable. (the trailer has 1/3 the weight of the EV). Guy has also used his trailer as a 'power-ehancer' for his old RV, clever use ! Rinspeed has just copy/pasted this on a Smart, shame !

  • Fincar1 Fincar1 on Feb 20, 2012

    Or you could just buy an ordinary car with an IC engine and save all the fiddle-f*king around and get on with your life.