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by Tim Beissmann

The innovative Rinspeed Micromax concept has been revealed ahead of its world premiere at next month’s 2013 Geneva motor show.

The quirky Swiss Micromax concept blurs the line between personal and public transport, combining the convenience and privacy of a car with the practicality and versatility of a train or tram.

The 3.7m-long Rinspeed Micromax features a unique cabin layout designed to accommodate a driver and three passengers (two forward-facing, one facing the one rear) as well as a pram or a shopping cart.

Occupants ride in an unconventional strapped-in squatting position inside the almost-2.2m-tall cabin, which can be installed with a coffee maker and a fridge, and devices with unlimited connectivity for either work or entertainment while on the go.

In front of the driver sits an expansive 19-inch high-definition touchscreen that facilitates the Micromax’s ‘Urban Swarm’ connectivity technology. Using information from other connected vehicles and individuals to develop a mobility network, the Cloud-based system can provide real-time navigation advice, manage permanent car pools for regular commuters, and organise pick-ups and transfers for people looking for on-the-spot rides.

Cyclists can also piggyback their bikes on the outside for covering longer distances.

Powering the front-wheel-drive Rinspeed Micromax is a lithium-polymer battery and a 32kW/130Nm electric motor. The concept accelerates from 0-50km/h in 8.0 seconds and maxes out at 95km/h. A full battery charge provides a range of approximately 100km.

While only a concept at this stage, Rinspeed says the Micromax could enter full-scale production within three years if there is sufficient interest and demand.

It estimates the Micromax would cost between $6500 and $13,000, depending on powertrain and features.

The Rinspeed Micromax will debut in Geneva on March 5.




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