Rinspeed iChange EV Changes Shape To Suit Passenger Numbers


Swiss auto-maker Rinspeed has revealed a revolutionary electric car, that morphs its body shape depending on the number of passengers onboard (see gallery below).

The Rinspeed iChange is the brain-child of prolific Swiss designer Frank Rinderknecht, also responsible for the sQuba ‘fully submersible’ EV (video). The car, showcased at this week’s Geneva 2009 Motor Show, starts off as a one-seat sports car, but is capable of changing to a three-seat coupe thanks to a pop-up rear end. The intention is that the zero-emission EV can optimize its aerodynamic profile according to the passenger load required (more pictures after the jump).

Performance-wise, the iChange can accelerate from 0-62 mph in just over four seconds, and is capable of a top speed of 137 mph.

The car is powered by a 150-kilowatt electric motor, (supplemented by roof-integrated solar panels, which help to operate cooling fans to vent the interior), routed via a six-speed “pre-selector” gearbox adapated from the Subaru WRX. Energy is stored in one of two ‘stack configurations’ of lithium-ion batteries, depending on whether urban or freeway driving is planned.

Andrew Williams

is a writer and freelance journalist specialising in sustainability and green issues. He lives in Cardiff, Wales.