rinspeed ichange concept 001Enlarge Photo
The basic idea behind the iChange is that the energy demand of a vehicle depends mostly on its weight, the type of engine it uses, and its aerodynamics. While aspects such as weight and powertrains are usually fixed, Rinspeed has realized that a vehicle’s shape, and thus its aerodynamic properties, can be altered.
What does that entail? It means that Rinspeed has essentially created a shape-shifting car. In seconds a streamlined one-seater sports car transforms into a comfortable car with ample room for three. By pushing a button, the driver can make rear end of the teardrop-shaped car pop up to increase the size of the cabin in two stages. This allows for what Rinspeed calls ‘'1-2-3’ seating.
The iChange features an electrically powered roof section that tilts forward to allow passengers to boardEnlarge Photo
For the static elements of the car, Rinspeed engineers still attempted to keep energy demands at a minimum by employing a highly-efficient 200hp (150kW) electric motor and a lightweight composite infused construction method, the end result of which is a car with a kerb weight of just 1,050kg.
Power comes from an array of lithium-ion batteries and with the pedal floored the iChange will accelerate from 0-100km/h in just over four seconds and eventually reach a top speed of 220km/h. Sending drive to the 18in rear wheels is a six-speed gearbox sourced from a Subaru WRX.
Although there are no production plans for the iChange, we can easily envisage many of its inherent concepts appearing in regular models in the not too distant future.