After making his latest prototype all but disappear, Swiss automotive visionary Frank K. Rinderknecht may be the Houdini of concept cars. Rinderknecht’s “eXasis” has a transparent body and floor made of polycarbonate (Makrolon) from Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) AG. The Rinspeed Inc. creation, built by Swiss engineering specialists Esoro, debuted at this year’s Geneva Motor Show 40 years after Bayer presented the first “all-plastic” car. “In this ethereal transparency, the true spirit of the eXasis becomes visible. An abstract idea becomes material and visions become tangible. Still, the eXasis doesn’t seem to have quite arrived in our material world,” says Rinderknecht. And, according to the manufacturer, “Glancing through the transparent floor while the car is moving is a very special kind of thrill.” Unlike the first two cars Rinspeed and Bayer collaborated on the futuristic-looking Senso and the zaZen sports car this one is not based on a production vehicle. eXasis’ insect-like, shiny yellow body with exposed wheels seats two people, one behind the other. The cigar shape is distinguished by what the company describes as a “sexy rear section” with a highly polished Remus exhaust muffler. Tailor-made springs and shocks are vertical in front and horizontal in the rear due to limited space. Pirelli 22-in. P Zero tires surrond forged five-spoke wheels. To offer an unrestricted view of the compact 2-cylinder, 750-cc Weber engine, which sits above the transmission, an additional gearbox was needed. The car weighs only 1,650 lb. Its transparent shell reveals an aluminum chassis, which looks as if it were made from a solid piece. The Recaro seats are made of twelve transparent ribs. Head restraints and armrests are transparent Technogel, a plasticizerfree polyurethane gel with shape memory. And the wheels, trim, wishbones, fuel tank, and headlamps are glass-fiber-coated aluminum. Even the indicator and dashboard
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