Redspace Reds: weird or wonderful urban EV?

29 November 2017

Redspace Reds

It may look like something from Toytown rather than Tinseltown, but this weird and wacky electric vehicle was unveiled just ahead of the Los Angeles motor show and is a surprisingly serious proposition.

It’s the first automotive design from Chris Bangle Associates, a consultancy set up by the former BMW design chief of the same name.

Bangle is famous (perhaps infamous) for creating left-field designs with striking visuals. Remember the old Fiat Coupé with bubble headlamps and slashed wheelarches? That was one of his. Remember the BMW GINA concept with stretchy fabric skin in place of metal body panels? That was another.

Redspace Reds side view

Today’s automotive novelty is an electric car called Reds, commissioned by a new company called Redspace, backed by a state-owned Chinese outfit that currently makes electric trucks and buses.

With its upside-down windscreens, boxy proportions and vertical sides, Reds resembles the absolute opposite of today’s aggressive, sporty, upmarket automobiles. Instead, the design is all about the interior and making best use of available space in crowded megacities – particularly when the car isn’t moving.

Bangle talks about utilising the 90% of time a car spends sitting still, and I assume he’s not just talking about being trapped in gridlock. Instead I think he’s talking about ensuring the car provides a useful room to work or relax in even when parked – a so-called fourth space after home, work and public spaces like coffee shops.

The name Reds, by the way, apparently stands for “Revolutionary Electric Dream Space”.

Redspace Reds interior

Reds measures just 2.98 metres long – for reference that’s 7cm shorter than a classic Mini – but packs in a versatile interior for four people (five when parked) with seats that slide or swivel and even fold over to act as footrests.

The reverse-sloped windscreens create an abnormally large roof, providing space for a solar panel to power the car’s ventilation system while also acting as a sunshade over the interior, keeping the need for air conditioning to a minimum.

Redspace Reds from above

Entry and exit is via large oblong doors that first pop out 20cm from the bodywork (providing a sort of porch above your head in the rain) before sliding aside.

Propulsion is entirely electric, delivered to the rear axle, with a low-mounted battery and inductive charging under the floor, backed up by a conventional socket. Details of battery range, performance, weight and cost remain to be revealed.

Redspace Reds rear view

Watch the video (uploaded by Car Design News) to find out more:

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