We can all agree that the Smart ForTwo is a very short car, and therefore a bit skimpy when it comes to luggage space. But few of us would imagine that the solution is to bolt on half an extra car, complete with its own axle, turning the ForTwo into a six-wheeled buggy that wouldn’t look out of place trundling across the surface of the moon.
Nevertheless, that’s what hare-brained Swiss modifier Rinspeed has classed as a fine idea – good enough to built the concept and bring it along to next month’s Geneva motor show.
The company has created not just one extra bolt-on “backpack” for the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive, it has created a whole set. Why stop at just one way of transforming your car into a lunar rover when you can have a choice?
And just as Gerry Anderson’s Thunderbird 2 could snatch up a pod containing just the right bit of kit for its latest perilous mission, so the Rinspeed Dock+Go can be equipped with any one of a range of backpacks to suit different kinds of journey. The most obvious need might be a simple space for extra luggage, but Rinspeed has also considered the needs of winter sports fans, pizza delivery drivers, and mobile DJs. Obviously.
Of more pressing interest to most potential electric car owners might be Rinspeed’s remaining options –backpacks stuffed with additional batteries, or accommodating a generator to turn the Smart ForTwo into a range-extended hybrid. The Dock+Go is thus free of the need to lug around a superfluous engine on short hops around the city, but still able to embark on ambitious trips to far-flung destinations. Rinspeed founder Frank M. Rinderknecht has dubbed this concept the “variohybrid”.
The concept of giving an electric car greater range by towing a generator on a trailer isn’t new, but you have to admire Rinspeed for taking this simple notion and running with it – all the way to its illogical conclusion.
Rinspeed Dock+Go: Thunderbird 2 for the city and beyond
26 February 2012