There are fewer surprises at motor shows now thanks to the speed at which news can be sent around the world, but every so often a motor show throws a curve ball.
For the 2012 Geneva Motor Show the curve ball appeared to be Rinspeed’s Dock+Go concept. The firm might not enjoy the high profile recognition of its mainstream peers, but it does have a reputation for grabbing the limelight and generating a disproportionate number of column inches.
The company’s appearance at the Geneva show confirmed its left-field status in the industry. The curiously-titled Dock+Go concept is, for Rinspeed at least, the logical next step when it comes to personal mobility.
Take one car with two axles, and add another axle only when you need the extra versatility to boost carrying capacity. It’s a wonder that no one else has thought of such a machine. No, really.
Joking aside, Rinspeed would like you to think of its new creation as offering an experience akin to that of a “backpack on wheels”. You’ve got admire its logic, and the concept becomes a little more believable when you see it in the metal.
With increasing industry focus on electric vehicles, Rinspeed turned its attention to the electric version of the familiar Smart car. And the firm believes it’s approach to carrying only what you need, when you need it will help maintain a healthy driving range from the battery.
The choice of ‘backpacks’ is potentially limitless, with tool boxes for tradesmen, fast food delivery containers just two ideas being suggested.
The flipside to loading the car up when you need it is the inevitable reduction in range.
But Rinspeed has planned ahead with the creation of an ‘Energy Pack’ third axle attachment. When on the move, the third axle drives the second axle, succeeding in topping up the onboard battery. Recharged separately, it acts as a booster if range will be an issue on a particular journey.
Unsurprisingly there’s no hint of production potential, but there’s no arguing that the idea is a sound one. Okay, maybe it’s slightly quirky, but then it wouldn’t be a Rinspeed car, would it.