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World premiere at the Geneva Motor Show 2006 - Rinspeed and Bayer MaterialScience jointly develop new concept car
February 28, 2006, will mark the world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show of the Rinspeed concept car, “zaZen", created by the famous Swiss designer, Frank M. Rinderknecht.
The world premiere of the “zaZen”, with its holographic brake lamp and smoothly contoured, transparent, one-piece roof dome made of high-tech Makrolon®, marks the beginning of a new era in lighting technology in vehicle design. For Ian Paterson, who is responsible for innovation on the Board of Bayer MaterialScience, this novel lighting system represents a small step on the way to building the car of tomorrow: “Together with Rinspeed, our goal is to get people thinking about the car of the future. We contribute our high-quality materials and the combined creative know-how of our engineers."
The name of the new concept car – “zaZen” – has been carefully chosen by Rinderknecht: “After all, Zen – borrowed from Buddhist teaching – is a special form of perception: You only get there if you are prepared to give up preconceived ideas.” Both partners went out of their way to emphasize that a concept car presented at a motor show can only be a snapshot taken from an unceasing development process. For example, the work on the switch-on/off transparency for three-dimensional forms is always ongoing.
The breathtakingly designed vehicle concept was born at the Swiss engineering specialists, Esoro, from one single vision and many imaginative ideas. The entire roof dome down to the belt line is made of Bayer's transparent Makrolon® polycarbonate. A glass-clear elastic sealant from Revoflex AG has been used to achieve an optimum joint with the body. The striking hardtop is light in both senses of the word. Not only does it appear to float airily above the rather chunky body, it is also weighs many kilograms less than glass – not that it would be possible to make it from glass in the first place.
The lightness of the roof construction ties in with the surface coating of the “zaZen” – a white mineral shade based on the Bayer raw materials, Desmodur® and Desmophen®. It is certainly not gaudy, but unassumingly beautiful through the millions of tiny precious Swarovski crystals protected by a self-healing polyurethane clear coat. This so-called “crystal skin” finish was developed and applied by the Austrian surface coating specialists, Karl Seelos. The Lesonal company was responsible for producing a perfect substrate. In a nutshell, the future driver can expect to find a muscular body in a sophisticated, tailored suit – a suit that has been given an exclusive touch though Swarovski trimmings on the front, side and rear lamps and the wheel rims. But the crystal manufacturer came up with a real masterpiece in the design of the seemingly never-ending 3D rear decorative panel.
The interior fittings of the “zaZen” are also dominated by this ethos of transparency and reduction to essentials, cleverly combined with strategically placed highlights. The transparent plastic seat shells of Makrolon® fitted with Technogel® upholstery were produced in cooperation with Recaro. A bright, friendly mango-orange color has been chosen for the rest of the leather/fabric interior trim. It was made by hand by Strähle & Hess, SC Schäfer, OesterleSLR and Sellner. Together with the Luoro Faia plantation wood – also in the dashboard area - it creates an interior that radiates warmth and relaxation.
The “zaZen”, which weighs 1,495 kg, is powered by a 355 bhp 6-cylinder boxer engine from the Porsche 997 Carrera S. It has a top speed of 293 kph and accelerates from 0 to 100 kph in exactly 4.8 sec. Should the “zaZen” be built in a small series at some time in the future, Rinspeed will consider – in line with its tradition – offering it with an environmentally friendly natural gas propulsion system.
At 6,600 rpm, the engine has a maximum torque of 400 Nm, which is transmitted to the rear axle via a manual six-speed transmission. The necessary traction is provided by Dunlop tires with Touch Technology (245/30-20 at the front and 305/25-20 at the rear), mounted on lightweight Rinspeed five-spoke rims (8.5 x 20” at the front and 11 x 20” at the rear) made by CW Fahrzeugtechnik (Borbet Group).
The body – for which the molds were produced using Obomodulan® modeling foam – sits on a 4x adjustable chassis specially designed by KW automotive. Here, the designers have managed to perform the rare feat of creating an outstanding synthesis of drive comfort and sporty handling.
Another small work of art connected with the “zaZen” is currently taking shape in Berlin at the eyewear designers, “ic! berlin". The company's owner, Ralph Anderl, who also acted as the model during the photo shoot, was so taken by the new Rinspeed concept car that he designed an eyewear collection specifically to go with the car. Now you can not only drive the “zaZen", you can also wear it.
In the interior, the surfaces of the engine cover and the entire cockpit are to emphasize as well as the seatings made of Luoro Faia wood. The employment of modern technologies connected with the mechanical skills of experienced co-workers made the realisation of this design idea possible.
A special detail and highlight is represented by the applications in the steering wheel, gear shift lever and hand brake handle with tea dyed natural materials made of flax and jute under lacquer. A possibility to set textiles in a perfectly new scene and, thus, putting the user into astonishment and amazement.
Valuable filigreed details, such as leather-covered door elements, applications in the interior, e.g. door entrance ledges and ventilation slots in the floor space area, PCM module, complete the design.
The principal colour in the zaZen colour concept - a deep warm mango orange - combined with the soft natural tones such as wood / flax and the earthy colours, like sand beige and terracotta result in a conclusive harmonious but also accentuated colour play.
zaZen Interior: High-performance from one source.
Color design inspired by Far-Eastern philosophy - Lesonal develops colors for Rinspeed
Since 1991 French painter and sculptor Stéphane DUFOUR has followed his passion and created unique automobile themed art. Mr. DUFOUR produces original and limited edition sculpture, paintings and digital artwork. His work emphasizes light, form and sensuality of the chosen subjects.
The Porsche 911, in its GT1, GT2, GT3, RS, Turbo and Speedster version, sits side to side with the epic 24h du Mans 917, 550 Spyder and 959 supercars or Carrera GT in original and limited edition art work.
His abstract sculptures are interpretations of the Porsche 356, Lamborghini Miura and the Riva Runabout complete his master piece dedicated to prestigious, competition and collection automobiles.
Stéphane is an accomplished artist, also developing more abstract automobilia creations through using sculpture and digital art.
Any authentic car enthusiast will take pleasure in surfing through this website, Stephane's personnal art gallery. Every canvas issued, whether it be an original or a limited edition is signed and market by the artist.
The Porsche crest is an unmistakable trademark. It has now been relaunched for the Porsche 356 and the early 911s from Porsche Classic. In order to faithfully reproduce the historic emblem true to the original colour and in the right material, our experts have carefully researched the history of the crest: between 1952 and 1998, there were three slightly different versions. Here, you can get an insight into the complex