Rinspeed Micromax concept makes public transport personal

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