Hey, if a backpack works for humans, why not for cars? Frank M Rinderknecht’s latest offbeat idea puts a new spin on the trailer. Due to be launched later this year at the 2012 Geneva Show, Dock+Go is a modular system that doubles up on a car’s rear axles when extra load-carrying is needed.
It all sounds pretty much like a conventional trailer – except that the Rinspeed idea is integrated with the tow vehicle’s styling. Single-axle “packs” serve a variety of purposes, according to Rinspeed, including cleverly solving the vexing operating range problem of electric vehicles. If you don’t need the extra space (or weight), you simply don’t take the “pack” along with you.
Although any electric city car could serve as the basis for Dock+Go, the demo version involves the electric version of the smart two-seater. In Rinspeed’s words, “A wide variety of ‘packs’ turn the electric-powered mini car into the dream car of any pizza delivery driver – complete with an integrated heated box. For craftsmen there is a toolbox pack with well-organised spaces for every tool. And after the day’s work is done the shared or owned camping, golf, skiing, beach or party pack is docked to the rear of the mini-mobile.”
As for the question of range extension, an “energy pack” with a combustion engine or range extender, packed with batteries or powered by a fuel cell, is envisaged. What’s more, the docked third axle drives the rotating second axle and thus recharges the EV’s battery. Rinderknecht calls this recharge concept the Vario-Hybrid.
Wallpapers: Visit New on the Block (February 2012 issue of PM) to download wallpapers of selected cars.