Rinspeed microMAX Revealed, Still Stupid (w/ video)

Rinspeed microMAX

Frank “Rinspeed” Rinderknecht has had some cool ideas over the years. This latest idea of his is called the microMAX, and it is exactly the kind of thing you would expect an aging, out-of-touch grandfather who was cool 30 years ago to be utterly convinced his grandkids will think is awesome.

Billed as “the future of cars” Frank believes the microMAX is the kind of car that will – finally! – get Generation Y to act like their parents and buying brand-new cars on credit (as opposed to vintage motorcycles and mid-80s BMW/Volvos in cash). He thinks the microMAX’s bus-like doors, stand-up seats, open floorplan, and exhibitionist-friendly windows will combine with its electric motor and low carbon footprint, Voltron-style, to overcome buyer apathy and pave the way for automakers in the 21st Century. He’s put a heavy emphasis on the microMAX’s internet connectivity and “here I am, where are you?” social-networking functions. Frank believes, truly believes, that this is the future of cars.

Frank is (still) off his ass.

Before we get to the car itself (it’s stupid, you’re not missing out on anything good, just stay with me), let’s take a look at a car that Generation Y is, you know, actually buying.

2012 Scion TC
Gen Y is buying this.

That, dear friends, is a Toyota Scion TC coupe. It’s a front-wheel drive coupe with narrow windows, low-slung bucket seats, decent power, no internet connectivity, and lots of performance and appearance add-ons – from stereo goodies to superchargers – readily available at their local Toyota Scion dealer. Scion’s mission is to reach young buyers, and they are absolutely killing it with the Scion TC – with more than 50% of its buyers being in the coveted 16-35 “Generation Y” demographic. Keep in mind, this number does not include “Baby Boomer” parents and grandparents buying these cars as graduation or birthday presents to be driven by their kids – so the number of TCs actually being driven by Gen Y is undoubtedly a lot higher than even that 50% figure.

Scion is reaching the kids. It is very much “in touch” with young buyers who are, in fact, willing to pay good money for something brand-new, and commit to the same credit/payment lifestyle that bankrolled the automakers and bankers of the last generation.

Take a look at one of those typical Scion TC commercials, then that is reaching the kids so well …

… now, compare that commercial to Rinspeed’s commercial …

… did you notice the difference?

Instead of a dark tinted window you could barely see through and an aggressive, responsive chassis that reacts to threats and obstacles with aplomb like you see in the Scion ad, Rinspeed offers up … a bus. A bus that, frankly, looks like it’s about to tip over. A bus that people can – GASP! – see your lame ass riding around in. WORSE! It will actually reach out to your online friends and IT WILL TELL THEM YOU ARE INSIDE OF IT.

Note to Rinspeed: nobody wants to be seen in your ridiculous little bus. It’s the moped of fat girls. It’s awful, and (quite frankly) it’s proof that Frank needs to retire. Now. Like, RIGHT NOW, before he pulls a Woody Allen/Mel Brooks and does something really embarrassing.

You can check out a few high-resolution images of Rinspeed’s new microMAX, below, and can go explain to Mr. Rinderknecht that “building an EV with wi-fi and a touch screen doesn’t guarantee you positive press – it actually has to not be a crap idea” in person at the Geneva motor show next month. If you do, please film it and send me the video.


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Source | Photos: Motorward.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.