It wouldn’t be the Geneva Motor Show without some weird and whacky concept from Rinspeed, and thankfully 2012 won’t disappoint on the weird factor as this preview look at Rinspeed’s new Dock+Go concept confirms.
Best known for its construction of oddball but impressive concepts like the James Bond-esque underwater sQuba
and eXasis glass car
, Swiss tuning and engineering firm Rinspeed is revisiting a previous theme with its latest concept, the theme of shape-shifting cars.
Like the previous iChange concept
from 2009, the new Dock+Go features a flexible body design with a relatively unique three axle configuration.
The idea of the third axle is what Rinspeed likes to call a “backpacks on wheels.” These single-axle “packs” serve a variety of purposes depending on the requirements of the day. Thus, neither unneeded space nor superfluous weight is carried along if they are truly not needed--they can just be left behind.
As we’re sure you would have already guessed, the Dock+Go is based around a Smart ForTwo minicar. But it’s not just any kind of Smart ForTwo, it’s the zero-emission Smart ForTwo Electric Drive
. On a full charge the Dock+Go will take its three axles over a distance of 75 miles according to Rinspeed, which the Swiss firm says would be ideal for a pizza delivery driver or other small-scale delivery business.
2012 Rinspeed Dock+Go Concept based on the Smart ForTwoEnlarge Photo
Note, if you’re after more range, Rinspeed notes that the backpack can be fitted with a compact range-extender or additional batteries. And to top it all off: when the pack with the range-extender or additional batteries is docked and the vehicle is not in use, the pack will even provide electricity to the owner’s private residence or serve as a buffer for the public energy grid, in effect turning it into a “smart grid.”
Rinspeed states that the Dock+Go is currently going through the Swiss patenting process, and who knows, we may even see a production version one day.
Follow our ongoing coverage of the 2012 Geneva Motor Show by accessing our dedicated show page
, and stay tuned for the event’s first press day commencing on March 6.