Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rinspeed Porsche Bedouin 996 Turbo, 2003

Rinspeed Porsche Bedouin 996 Turbo, 2003


At the push of a button the Rinspeed Bedouin can be transformed from a roomy two-seater pick-up into a sporty yet spacious four-seater wagon sporting the trendy 'allroad' look - in less than ten seconds. With its high roofline the Bedouin also offers lots of room and seating comfort for rear-seat passengers. Even more, the increase of interior space can be used as an enclosed cargo bed by folding down the backrest of the rear seats.

The transformation trick
The almost magical transformation sequence is started by two electric motors that drive jackscrews to lift the entire roof of the vehicle. The front part of the roof then folds and in effect becomes the tailgate window while the rear part of the roof turns into the cargo bed. The tailgate is also electrically powered and can be lowered to extend the bed by another 45 centimeters to an overall length of 185 centimeters. The bed can be used to transport bulky cargo and serves as a modern tent replacement and romantic bunk for leisurely rests

To comply with highest safety standards the entire mechanism is fitted with redundant self-locking safeties and for maximum effect is operated with a remote control.

The fastest natural gas vehicle in the world
The Rinspeed Bedouin is powered by a future-oriented environment-friendly twin-turbo engine running on natural gas. Natural gas is an extremely clean-burning fuel that consists almost entirely of methane and contains almost no sulfur.

Protecting the environment does not preclude driving fun: The four-valve engine is from Porsche and produces 420 hp / 309 kW at 6,000 rpm. It delivers its impressive maximum torque of 560 Nm at just 2,700 rpm. Performance is accordingly proud: The 1,640-kg Bedouin accelerates in roughly 5.9 seconds to 100 km/h and reaches an electronically and mechanically limited top speed of 250 km/h.

Sporty thoughts
The sporty lines of the Bedouin attract attention even at first glance. It is a little reminiscent of the Porsche 911, type 996, from which it takes the 4x4 platform. In keeping with the English tradition of the 'shooting break,' the sporty wagon of the affluent hunter, the roofline exhibits a dynamic swing that gradually flattens out toward the rear. The wide rear fenders and their striking air inlets exude raw power. The large air inlets in the front provide ample cooling air and also contribute to the powerful appearance of the Bedouin.

A sporty stainless-steel exhaust from Remus with milled all-aluminum tailpipes provides the adequate sound and gives the rear a unique and dynamic look.
The elaborate roof design made from aluminum profiles is witness to the engineering prowess of Rinspeed. The entire mechanism for operating the roof is hidden from view behind the sidewalls. Green-tinted Foliatec glass in the roof louvers creates a bright and cozy ambiance even when the roof is closed.

The rearview mirrors as well as the front and rear bumpers are painted with sparkling crystal paint from Swarovski, which also contributed the fully crystal hood emblem and the rear badge featuring SDS technology.

In the Bedouin even the taillights look forward - into the future. In.pro. custom-developed chrome-plated LED taillights for the Bedouin, which not only initiate a new design trend but also offer increased traffic safety due to their exceptionally fast reaction time.
The entire body of the Bedouin is made up of Pre-Preg composite, a state-of-the-art plastic rarely used in automotive production. It combines a low specific weight with extraordinarily high strength.

Crystal worlds of leather
The Bedouin shows its proud heritage in the interior, too. Most of the interior of the Bedouin was retained from the Porsche 996 and was custom-upholstered with exquisite "Poltrona-Frau leather" from X-Mobil. The brown hue of the color "Cotto" harmonizes perfectly with the exterior color, which changes from slightly green to copper.

The Rinspeed designers also broke new ground in the selection of materials. In a partnership with the world-leading manufacturer of crystal glass Swarovski they created ultra-modern and visionary new interior elements. The hand-covered door panels shine in soft hues of brown and white. The gearshift-lever grip is made from solid crystal with a shift pattern embedded using endographics. Lasers were used to imprint the leather seats with Rinspeed logos, which were then in turn covered with crystals.

A seven-inch color LCD monitor folds down from a recessed position in the roofliner. It can display the signal from the rearview camera for the driver or entertain the passenger with the program of an integrated DVD player. The system was developed Blaupunkt and also allows connecting an external programming source such as a Sony Playstation.

Well shod
The Rinspeed Bedouin runs on voluminous fully off-road capable 18-inch Continental SportContact 4x4-tires in sizes 255/55 in front and 285/50 in the rear. The Continental tires combine environment-friendly design, exceptional off-road capabilities and excellent grip on road surfaces. The tires are mounted on two-piece Rinspeed aluminum wheels (8.5x18" Rim Offset 40 mm front, 10x18" Rim Offset 52 mm rear) custom-made by ATP.

Rinspeed Presto Concept, 2002

Rinspeed Presto Concept, 2002


Rinspeed Presto
The Rinspeed Presto transforms itself in a few seconds from an under-3-meter long two-seater roadster - presto! - into a 3.7-meter long four-seater with plenty of room for the rear-seat passengers. The additional space can also be used as a pick-up bed for cargo when the rear-seat backrests are folded down.

The magical trick
This almost magical transformation is made possible by a centrally located electric motor, which stretches the vehicle with the help of two mechanical screw-and-nut gears by exactly 746 millimeters to its full extended length of 3.74 meters. The longitudinal members run on low-friction precision rollers and disappear like a drawer in the rear of the floor pan. Despite its variable length the engineers succeeded in designing the adjustable Presto floor pan with the torsional rigidity necessary for a roadster. To ensure absolute operational safety the extension mechanism also features self-locking safety latches.

The environment friendly propulsion
A four-cylinder, 1.7-liter common-rail turbo diesel engine in dual-fuel configuration, based on a Mercedes-Benz engine, provides future-oriented and highly environmentally friendly propulsion. The engine runs on a mixture of natural gas and Diesel fuel at a 40 to 60 ratio. Natural gas is a very clean-burning fuel, which consists almost entirely of methane with sulfur content near zero. However, since a Diesel engine has no spark plug to act as an ignition source, operation on natural gas alone is technically impossible.

The operating principle of the dual-fuel engine is simple: Natural gas is injected into the intake air of the engine. Just like in the production engine the Diesel fuel is injected into the combustion chamber where it ignites a mixture of natural gas and air rather than just plain air.

To configure the turbocharged in-line engine for dual-fuel operation, a number of modifications are required, including installation of a tank for the natural gas and a gas-injection system. At the heart of the modifications is a reprogrammed engine management system. Should the system malfunction it reverts to the standard Diesel mapped ignition, thus offering the same level of reliability as the production car.

This technology has enormous potential for reducing exhaust emissions and fuel consumption. Emissions of nitrous oxides and carbon dioxide can be lowered by as much as 10 percent compared to the already extraordinary low level of the production engine. Particulate matter emissions can be lowered by up to 40 percent. With emissions this low the dual-fuel engine easily meets all existing and currently planned emission limits. Fuel consumption can be improved by up to 10 percent compared to a production engine.

The dual-fuel engine is compelling proof that environmental protection and driving fun can go hand-in-hand: The four-valve engine develops maximum power output of 120 hp / 88 kW at 4'200 rpm, and produces maximum torque of 224 Nm at just 1'600 rpm. Performance is boosted accordingly: The 865-kg quick-change artist accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in approximately 10.5 seconds and reaches a top speed of approximately 180 km/h.

Interior reflections
Exclusive reflective upholstery materials from Xmobil create an eye-catching yet comfortable atmosphere. Entertainment in hi-fi quality is provided by a Sony stereo system whose sound is transmitted via wireless headphones. Foliatec contributed many clever styling elements for the interior as well as the exterior.

A Meta-Sat anti-theft system gives thieves no chance. With GSM and satellite wireless communications the Rinspeed Presto can be traced, located and immobilized by remote control. The Meta-Sat system is combined with a keyless-entry system from in.pro., which deactivates the security system from a distance of 10 feet.

Tires and more
The Rinspeed Presto runs on one-piece Antera wheels (7.5x17 with a offset of 17 mm in front, 8.5x17 with 52 mm offset in the rear), on the front axle individually suspended on custom-developed Eibach springs. In the rear a semi-independent suspension also feature custom Eibach springs. To complement the low-emission nature of the Presto, Rinspeed designers chose SportContact 2 tires by Continental (205/50 front and 235/45 rear), which underscore their fuel-saving bionic design with green tire treads.

Swiss made
Rinspeed-C.E.O. Frank M. Rinderknecht used highly advanced technology and a Swiss-based network of automotive and natural-gas specialists (Gasverbund Mittelland AG and SVGW) for his project. Though there is no automobile production in Switzerland to speak of, there is a very active automotive supply industry there. Many highly innovative prototypes have been developed and manufactured in Switzerland. The competent team translated initial sketches into a fully functional prototype in just four months.

Honda Prelude, 1979

Honda Prelude, 1979

The Honda Prelude was a front wheel drive I4-engined coupe that was manufactured by Honda between 1978 and 2001. It spanned five generations of cars but was discontinued upon the release of the fourth-generation Honda Integra in Japan in late 2001, due to its decreasing sales and popularity.

The Prelude's perennial competitor has been the Toyota Celica, another I4-powered coupe introduced several years prior to the Prelude. Throughout the 1980s, it was challenged by the Nissan Silvia, Isuzu Impulse, Mitsubishi FTO, Mitsubishi Cordia (later the Eclipse), and the Mazda MX-6.

The first generation Prelude was released in 1978, and was the third main model in Honda's modern lineup, joining the Civic and the Accord. Styling of the car was a combination of both then current Civic and Accord. The Prelude was equipped with a 1751 cc SOHC CVCC I4 engine that produced 72 hp and 94 lbf-ft of torque with a 5-speed manual transmission, and 68 hp with a 2-speed automatic called the Hondamatic.

The second generation Prelude was released in 1983 and was initially available with a 1.8-litre 12-valve carburated engine, producing 100 hp, and fuel injection was introduced in 1985 - in the "Si" models. In Japan, Asia and Europe, it was available with a 2-litre DOHC 16-valve PGM-FI engine, although this engine was not released until 1986 in Europe. The second generation Prelude was the first to have pop-up headlights; this allowed for a more aerodynamic front which reduced drag. Opening the headlights however, especially at higher speeds, produced more drag.

When the 2-litre 16-valve DOHC engine came out, the hood was slightly modified since the larger engine could not be fitted under the stock hood. The European version also saw slight modifications to the taillights and revised front and rear bumpers which were now color-matched. Due to the fairly low weight of the car (1,025 kg) and high power (the 16-valve engine produced 137 hp) the car was surprisingly nimble, something most Preludes were not in comparison to their competitors, until the VTEC engines came out.

The third generation Prelude was similar to the second generation, however it gained four wheel steering on some models, as well as a 2.0 L SOHC carburated engine, an optional B20A DOHC EFI engine, or a slightly-larger B21A1 in 1990 and 1991.

The four wheel steering system on the third generation prelude was an extraordinary piece of engineering in itself. As of 2006, it is the only four wheel steering system on a production car that is entirely mechanical in its design; that is, there is always a direct mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the rear wheels. This means the four wheel steering-equipped Prelude was intuitive to drive, unlike most other four wheel steering systems in which the rear wheels were controlled indirectly by a computer.

The third generation Prelude also had some new external designs worth mentioning. The hoodline was designed to be the lowest hoodline of any front wheel drive car in the world, allowing for better forward visibility. The drag resistance was at of high-speed stability.

Another unique structural element of the third generation Prelude was the high-strength metal used in the 6 roof pillars. The roof pillars were so slim that all-around visibility was amazingly clear for 326°. Some call this Prelude the "baby NSX" due to some common design cues between the two cars, such as the excellent forward visibility via a low hoodline, a front end resemblance, the suspension attributes (great handling with a smooth ride).

In 1987, Road & Track published a test summary that shows the 1988 Honda Prelude 2.0Si 4WS outslalomed every car of that year, including all Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and Porsches. It went through the slalom at 65.5 mph, which was amazing in those days. For reference, the 1988 Corvette did the same at 64.9 mph.
The Prelude was Wheels magazine's Car of the Year for 1987.
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