iPhone Controlled Car: Rinspeed iChange Concept

Known for it’s off beat designs, Swiss automaker Rinspeed unveiled a new concept car that will be shown at the 2009 Geneva auto show. The Rinspeed ‘iChange’ has a ton of unique design ideas packaged in it. Gone are such mundane things as a key. Its role is filled by an Apple iPhone, which plugs […]

Known for it’s off beat designs, Swiss automaker Rinspeed unveiled a new concept car that will be shown at the 2009 Geneva auto show. The Rinspeed ‘iChange’ has a ton of unique design ideas packaged in it. Gone are such mundane things as a key. Its role is filled by an Apple iPhone, which plugs into the dashboard and controls key vehicle functions.

The Rinspeed ‘iChange,’ is the world’s first car whose body adapts to the number of passengers on board. The car can transform at the push of a button from a single-seater sports car to a vehicle that accommodates three people. The extra seats are contained under rear end of the teardrop-shaped panel which pops up, creating more room.

The basic idea behind the ‘iChange:’: The energy demand of a vehicle depends mostly on its weight, the type of engine it uses, and its aerodynamic properties. The engineering-services company Esoro that traditionally builds Rinspeed concept cars has built an extremely lightweight car weighing in at only 2,314 pounds. To power the car, the Swiss specialists chose an electric motor. The idea of the pop-up rear end was conceived to account for the size-able effect aerodynamics play in fuel consumption.

The car has solar panels integrated on the top and sides of the roof which provide electricity to the cooling system in the car on hot days. While parked, the panels charge the vehicle’s on-board lithium-ion batteries. The battery stacks can be configured in either a city driving or long distance driving orientation. The electric motor of the “iChange” produces 150kW, capable of propelling the car to a top speed of 136 mph.

[via jalopnik]

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