Exotic Eye Candy Pervades The Geneva Auto Show, Where Even The Smallest Automakers Vamp It Up Like The Big Boys.
No Geneva auto show is complete without a seriously weird concept from Rinspeed, and the Swiss company didn't disappoint this year. The eXasis, which resembles an Ariel Atom encased in plastic, is a tandem-seat roadster built in celebration of Rinspeed's thirtieth anniversary. The 1654-pound car uses an aluminum tube frame and is propelled by an ethanol-slurping, 150-hp, 750-cc two-cylinder engine connected to a six-speed sequential manual. The company claims 0-to-62-mph acceleration of 4.8 seconds and a maximum velocity of 130 mph. Rinspeed's production models are usually based on existing vehicles-the Chopster was a modified Porsche Cayenne-so the likelihood of the eXasis being built is less than zero. Too bad.
Rinspeed means goofy-looking cars with an underlying rationale that makes sense-if you adopt the company's skewed point of view. Transparent polycarbonate skin reduces weight, provides strength . . . and confuses observers. A tiny two-cylinder engine and tandem seating recall cyclecars of a hundred years ago. It truly looks like it would be great fun to drive on a holiday beachfront, but as regular transportation-no thanks.