Rinspeed eXasis

Published: 18 December 2006

Madcap Swiss manufacturer Rinspeed has announced a typically bonkers concept car: a transparent Radical rival.

The two-seater eXasis will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March, as a potential rival to the likes of Radicals and Caterhams. Rinspeed's show car uses a small engine in a lightweight 750kg structure for astonishing performance. And, because it runs on bio-ethanol, it's clean too. The company hasn't issued exact figures, but talks of 'Porsche-rivalling' speed, thanks to a tiny 750cc engine supercharged to deliver 150bhp. You might have groaned when James Bond's Aston Martin Vanquish turned invisible, but Rinspeed says the eXasis really is see-through. Plastic body panels are wrapped around a spaceframe chassis, giving drivers an unparalleled view out; even the floor is transparent, so you can see exactly what you're driving over. The passenger sits directly behind the driver, in an unusual fighter-jet layout. There's no word on production yet, but many of Rinspeed's wilder creations remain fantasies; its bread-and-butter business is customising and tuning production cars.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet