Ready to stretch the automotive envelope one more time, Swiss design firm Rinspeed has released photos and more details regarding the UC? -- for "Urban Commuter" or "You See" -- it is publically revealing at the Geneva Auto Salon. As we previously reported, this diminutive, two-seat city car was developed with the full intent of seeing it enter series production although no specific manufacturer name has been linked to the car at this time.
Crafted by the Rinspeed's long-time cohort, Swiss engineering company Esoro, the UC? is powered by an electric motor that makes 96 lb.-ft. of torque. It's fed by a compact Lithium-ion-ceramic pack from Li-Tec-Battery that gives the car a top speed of 68 mph and a range of up to 75 miles on a single charge. A dedicated high-speed on-board charger developed by Absaar offers the ability to pump 31 miles of range into the battery in about two hours using a normal Euopean 230V/16-amp outlet or in about 20 minutes on a 400V/32-amp commercial system.
In keeping with a minimal mass/maximum efficiency mantra, the UC? is fitted with lightweight composite and thermoplastic body panels and rides on 195/40 Pirelli P7 "Green Tires" wrapped around ultralight 17-inch AEZ wheels. Finished in leather and aluminum, the UC?'s avant-garde interior dispenses with a conventional steering wheel in favor of a force-feedback joystick and all operating systems employ full "by-wire" activation. Complementing its exterior panels finished in a color-shifting paint that changes from yellow to green, the cabin palette is dominated by a combination of those two high-profile hues.
Rinspeed plans several different variations on the UC? theme, but its most intriguing characteristic may well be the supplemental mobility afforded by its ability to be loaded onto special train cars and ferried from city to city, making use of its on-board charger to arrive fully fueled and ready to go. Rinderknecht is already in discussions with several companies to ensure this aspect of the UC? design is realized, should the car reach production.
Ever the showman, Rinderknecht plans to impart an element of dynamic flourish to the Geneva display by having the UC? run laps around its stand on a track covered in artificial fur created by Sibu Design.