James Bond has the Q section at MI6 on call, while the rest of the world has to languish, with no exploding pens or submersible cars. Some fans of the movie haven’t let that stop them from making their own, but for the rest of the world, we have people like the crazy minds over at Rinnspeed. Rinnspeed is a company based out of Switzerland, that got their start importing sunroofs and modifying Volkswagen Golfs. This did not last long, and pretty soon they were making Turbo GTi’s and Lambo-doored Golfs. They soon started becoming a regular sight at the Geneva Auto Show, and were even featured on Top Gear (U.K.) with their Splash. On top of the sea-skimming Splash—or perhaps beneath it—they have the sQuba, lifted straight out of “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977). The ‘Concept Car’ section on their website is a gift to the Internet, full of nifty cars. Today they have added a new car to their portfolio to be presented at CES 2017, one that is much less wacky than previous offerings: The Oasis.
The founder of the company, Mr. Frank M. Rinderknecht, is fighting back against the establishment of the urban driver. In the press release, he certainly pokes fun at the concept of needing big 4×4’s and “multi-ton SUV’s for survival” in the Urban Jungle that so many of us see ourselves as having to survive in. Rather than using brute force to plow your way through this jungle, Mr. Rinderknecht instead envisions being able to retreat to an Oasis of calm. Side bar; The Oasis is the best name yet in this emerging market, especially with the appeal and feasibility of autonomous, electric cars. The humorous side of Rinnspeed comes to the forefront later in the press release, when they somewhat-mock Google and its automobile for looking like a mouse. Instead, the Oasis is more akin to R2-D2 in its creator’s mind, even being able to turn on its own center, with almost zero radius.
The interior continues the theme of providing an oasis from the city, being equipped with a TV, an armchair, a sideboard, and a steering wheel with multiple functions. While the headliners are of course the TV and the armchair, the innocuous sounding multi-function steering wheel does provide one important technical detail—human inputs will still be accepted. All of these comforts seem entirely feasible, so not to be outdone by other concept cars, they also are planning that the, “windshield also serves as a screen for virtual as well as augmented reality”. Yeah, okay. For those with a green thumb, or those that simply miss their flower pot from their VW bug, the cabin will also feature an integrated space for the purpose of growing small plants and various green things to truly make it an ‘oasis’.
Potentially hinting at ridesharing aspirations, the press release also makes mentions of its various uses. Their example envisions a hard-working life for their little vehicle, being a family run-about in the morning, a “micro-delivery” vehicle in the afternoon, and a “pizza taxi” at night. I am not quite what the difference are between a micro-delivery and a pizza, but these potential uses and features are enabled by a drawer in the rear protected by a code. Maybe Mr. Rinderknecht wants to put out all the pizza boys in the world, offering pie-makers an Uber-like platform for their goods.
Overall, it is a very neat little concept car, and CES certainly got a little bit more exciting. Be sure to check out Rinnspeed online, and read the full press release here.
I recently recieved a degree in History from the University of Nevada, Reno.