2006 Rinspeed zaZen Rendering Preview

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(from Rinspeed Press Release)  On February 28, 2006, at the Geneva Motor Show, the exciting "zaZen" will go on show for the first time. The famous Swiss design company Rinspeed, and Bayer MaterialScience, one of the world's biggest plastics producers, have been working together for some time on this revolutionary new concept car that will point the way to enlightenment for future generations of automobiles. As if from nowhere, the conspicuously large third brake light shines out of what looks like a floating, transparent teardrop roof. The technical revolution in the car's design is that
the transparent rear window has been turned into a luminous holographic area.

The world premiere of the "zaZen", with its holographic brake light and smoothly contoured single section roof dome made of the high-tech polycarbonate Makrolon®, marks the beginning of a new era in lighting technology in vehicle design. This, at any rate, is how Ian Paterson, the member of the Bayer MaterialScience Board of Management responsible for innovation, sees it. The innovative light is also an important step for Rinspeed's boss, Frank M. Rinderknecht, on the way to attaining
automotive enlightenment. The name of the new concept car has been deliberately chosen to reflect the overall attitude with which both companies have driven the entire project forward over a period of many months. After all, Zen – borrowed from Buddhist teaching – is a special form of insight that is only attainable if you are prepared to give up preconceived ideas.

This highly transparent four-wheeled creation, the product of one vision and many imaginative ideas, is currently taking shape at the Swiss engineering specialists, Esoro. It is an automotive interplay of veiling and unveiling. The entire roof dome down to the belt line is made of a single sheet of transparent Bayer polycarbonate. The amazing thing about it is that the material can be made non-transparent at the press of a button to protect the occupants from curious gazes. Because the transparency can simply be switched on and off, it means that any superfluous knobs and displays on the dashboard can be simply faded out so that the driver can concentrate on what is most important, the speed indicator, instead of being bombarded with unnecessary information. And instead of a living-room atmosphere, the occupants sit in "glass-like" plastic seat shells in a bright and friendly orange color. The interior is an invitation to meditative unity for man and machine.

Everything has been reduced to essentials, to what really matters. This is the heart of the "zaZen". The extremely organically designed body does not assault the eye with harsh colors but exerts a quiet fascination with its mineral-white color. This is achieved in an understated yet breathtakingly beautiful manner through the use of millions of tiny precious Swarovski crystals protected by a self-healing polyurethane clear coat. In its made-to-measure suit, "zaZen" seems to belong to another world.

In our world, it will make its first appearance at the end of February at the Geneva Motor Show. After that, who knows? We might see some of these exclusive vehicle actually driving along our roads.