hp per liter
about 7 secs
mph (electronically limited)
Neither a city car, nor an SUV or a sports car. mindset is as unique
as it is self-explanatory: a light, powerful and efficient commuter
for those day-to-day journeys. Its high heels (i.e. its large, slim
wheels) take the aerodynamic coupé body up to eye level with the
main traffic. Whether alone, or in company, with babies and bags,
cats and dogs – you can get in and out easily and keep an eye on
what’s going on whilst moving on swiftly and pleasantly. Its calm
appearance projects power without aggression. That’s what mindset
understand by a contemporary hybrid automobile.
A city car doesn’t need
to break any speed records. What is of greater day-to-day importance
is its utility. Streamlined bodywork does, however, increase the
vehicle’s efficiency and produces a faster, smoother and more
Aerodynamics has a lot less to do with flying wedge shapes and
sweeping rear wings than most people think – rather it’s more about
skillfull optimisation of the bodywork. The front end of the mindset
is smoothly profiled, so its air intakes can be considerably reduced
– no surprise, really, since an electric motor doesn’t need an
outsize radiator grille.
The rear end is strongly tapered and terminates in a sharp ridge
profile. An optimized, almost-fully enclosed underside finishes off
the shape. The slim wheels – which at the rear are offset from the
body – complete the areodynamic concept.
'Commuters’ were those
luxurious wooden power boats with fully-enclosed cabins that became
popular in the United States in the 1920s. For those who would
rather live in the Hamptons than in downtown New York, these boats
offered a quick, comfortable and stylish means of shuttling between
riverbank home and Manhattan island. With their contemporary
city-Commuter for everday driving, mindset are giving new currency
to the Commuter concept.
The long, stretched-out
coupé shape of the mindset strongly evokes the Italian „Berlinetta“
design from the 1950s. Typical sportscar bodywork brings together
emotion and efficiency. It is the quintessence of an automobile, and
also exactly what mindset wants to come to represent.
Modern sports cars are, however, uncomfortably low-slung, focussing
more on mechanics than the motorist. They’re simply not cut out for
Murat Günak, mindset’s chief designer, has translated the coupé
shape into a vehicle fit for everday use. The long bonnet blends
with the steep windscreen. The flowing rear end conceals a boot with
generous stowage space, and the high-profile wheels put the bodywork
at the level of the main traffic. This is the particular concept
that Murat Günak calls the ‚Commuter’.
The unmistakable quality of the mindset becomes apparent when it is
brought into comparison with other cars of its class and size: it is
powerful, but never aggressive – exactly as mindset imagined the
design of a contemporary Commuter would be.
An electric vehicle is
powered by an electric motor which is supplied in turn by batteries.
As long as cars have been around, there have been electric vehicles.
The famous Jamais Contente, for example – which in 1889 became the
first vehicle to break the 100 km/h barrier – was an electric
vehicle. You would have to wait another three years before you could
say the same thing about a vehicle with a combustion engine. No
wonder then, that by the year 1910 a good third of all the cars in
the United States were electric models. Even today, famed talk-show
host Jay Leno still enthusiastically drives a 1909 Baker Electric.
Nowadays, in many cities, electric vehicles – which produce zero
emissions locally – are the only means for getting around transport
restrictions. Also no wonder that in many countries the purchase and
maintenance of these vehicles is subsidised by the government.
Electric motors are
ideal power sources for automobiles. Their level of efficiency –
three times better than a good Diesel motor – provides an optimal
use of energy, and their long lifespan, combined with
considerably-diminished maintenance costs, represents an additional
payback on the initial investment. However, electric motors are most
convincing when looked at from their power delivery characteristics.
Thanks to the high, uninterrrupted torque they produce, the entire
power band is always available to the driver. And this power is
delivered smoothly and vibration-free – just like in an Inter City
Express train. And since electric motors are locally emission-free,
this can only be another factor deciding in their favour – and not
just for the driver and passengers, but for the environment, too.
The CO2 output of an
adult human is around 1500 grams a day. The mindset’s is zero – at
least locally. But let’s be typically, pragmatically Swiss about
this: electricity has, of course, to be generated and transported.
That doesn’t just use up energy – it also produces emissions. Taken
in total, the best-case output of the mindset – where electricity is
generated by hydroelectric power – is of the order of one gram. If
you take the UTCE figure – an average value for electricity produced
across Europe from various sources – then the mindset’s output is
only 55 grams. With the Range Extender hooked up, this value is
still only 70 grams – a record low value for a vehicle of its size
and power output. And when the solar collector is used, it’s as
clear as day that the emissions drop to zero.
The mindset is, as
regards performance, in a class of its own. It’s not just its
individual characteristics, but rather the combination of them, that
produces such a one-off. The 70kW motor sits well in the lightweight
vehicle. The acceleration – 0-100 km (0-60 mph) in 7 seconds –
already promises great driving pleasure, and even more impressive is
the perception of performance, since the entire torque band is
more-or-less continuously at your disposal. The mindset’s top speed
– electronically limited to 140 km/h – is reached rapidly, and that
this limit presents no drawback for everday use is witnessed by the
fact that these days very few stretches of German Autobahn allow you
to drive at a higher speed. The rest of Europe has long had limits
in place and will soon be under electronic surveillance. Responsibly
sporty – that’s mindest’s idea of the performance of the
Small, narrow wheels may
have economic and technological advantages, but they also furnish
little in the way of ride quality. Large, wide wheels may be ideal
on racetracks and in the desert, but they leave much to be desired
on the open road.
For the optimal combination of ride quality, driving enjoyment and
economy, mindset equips the car with wheels that are 22 inches in
diameter and not over-wide. However, these aren’t a new invention:
over seventy years ago Tazio Nuvolari screamed across the finishing
line at well over 300 km/h in the winning car, his Auto Union type
C, on wheels with very similar dimensions. So why do we call them
High W(H)eels? Because they not only give the mindset its
unmistakable character, but they also let it glide through the
traffic with an air of poise and elegance – like a lady on high
heels, in fact.
The word ‚hybrid’ comes
originally from the Ancient Greek and means mixture or combination.
Typically, in a hybrid vehicle, a combustion engine is combined with
an electric motor. That does sound futuristic, but in 1899,
Ferdinand Porsche had already built a hybrid for Lohner that he
entered successfully in races.
The Lohner was purely electric-driven; the permanently-running
combustion engine generated the necessary electricity. We call this
sytem today a ‚serial hybrid’. It provides superior steering and
optimal energy use, but it also, unfortunately, continually produces
Today, various manufacturers offer hybrid vehicles. In these, the
electric motor serves mostly to supplement the combustion engine,
which serves as the main power source and also simultaneously
recharges the batteries. This system is known as a ‚parallel
hybrid’. Even though it brings advantages to city driving, the
environment-saving pure-electric drive is largely incidental.
In the latest generation of hybrid vehicles, the batteries can be
recharged via normal domestic power points. Because of this, these
systems are also known as ‚plug-in’ hybrids. They provide
emission-free driving as long as the batteries remain charged.
At mindset, hybrid means the combination of all these advantages. As
a ‚plug-in’ hybrid, the mindset’s batteries can be recharged in a
matter of hours from a domestic wall socket. In pure electric mode,
therefore, it has a range of around 100 km – completely
emission-free. And as a serial hybrid the mindset can use, if
required, an economical combustion engine to charge the batteries.
And with the inbuilt Range Extender, journeys of over 800 km without
re-fuelling stops are, therefore, possible.
The mindset has been
designed as a 2+2-seater. The front bench seat provides plenty of
room for both driver and front passenger. An additional, slender
benchseat can be installed in the rear. Or you can adjust and use
the available free space for loading needs, be it for kids, dogs or
sporting equipment. In either case, there’s enough room available
for passengers’ everyday luggage or storage requirements. The boot
can be accessed via the side-mounted hinged panels, which have been
laid out asymmetrically: on the driver’s side there’s a small panel
for bags or coats, on the front passenger’s side a larger one for
There are many possibilities for charging the mindset’s batteries.
The easiest is simply to leave it plugged in to a wall socket for a
couple of hours. If that isn’t possible, the optional Range Extender
can be connected. Or you can simply park the mindset in the sun –
charging will then take longer, but it’s completely free and, above
all, good for the environment. Or you can just drive downhill, or
even brake: with recovery technology, you can get up to 90% of the
deceleration energy back.
There are many
possibilities for charging the mindset’s batteries. The easiest is
simply to leave it plugged in to a wall socket for a couple of
hours. If that isn’t possible, the optional Range Extender can be
connected. Or you can simply park the mindset in the sun – charging
will then take longer, but it’s completely free and, above all, good
for the environment. Or you can just drive downhill, or even brake:
with recovery technology, you can get up to 90% of the deceleration
Formula-1 guru John
Cooper, Lotus founder Colin Chapman and the designer of the Mini,
Sir Alec Issigonis all knew: when it comes to building racing
machines, lightweight construction is the deciding factor. Because
low weight means a faster, better, more efficient ride.
At mindset lightweight construction is a philosophy. It begins with
structural optimization through the use of high-grade materials,
develops through a reduction in superfluous fixtures and ends with a
lightweight, thought-through design.
Modern automotive construction is going round in circles: more bulk,
more fixtures and fittings and the consequently higher power output
needed all lead to ever more weight. Increased weight doesn’t just
cost money – it also demands ever more resources. In short: heavy
cars are yesterday’s cars.
technology has finally reached the stage where it is ready for use
in automotive construction. Rechargable lithium-ion batteries stand
out by virtue of their extremely high energy output-to-weight ratio.
And on top of that, Li-Ion batteries are free from deleterious
effects like the ‚Memory Effect’ and sudden spontaneous loss of
At the heart of mindset
lies a special Li-Ion battery. Thanks to the latest
cell-construction technologies and electronic diagnostic monitoring,
their reliability over their service lifetime is guaranteed.
The mindset is targeting
European metropolitan areas, where it has the greatest potential to
work its charms.
In due time the mindset will be available in Switzerland, Germany,
France and the Netherlands.
At a later stage, we will extend our distribution network to other
European countries, including England, Italy, Austria, and Spain.
mindset is noticing a
pleasantly high number of enquiries from prospective purchasers.
However, it is still too early to give an indication concerning
final purchase price and delivery date.
The mindset team is pulling out all the stops for a market
introduction towards the end of 2009 and a serious production start
early in 2010. The price will be comparable to that of a
well-equipped mid-size car from a premium brand.
Cometh the hour, cometh the mindset!
With the optional Range
Extender, the mindset becomes a hybrid vehicle at the flick of a
switch. Whether you keep the compact petrol engine permanently on
board, stow it in the garage when not in use, or even just want to
rent one for the weekend, installing and demounting the Range
Extender in the boot is simplicity itself. It also has no
appreciable effect on performance. As an electricity generator, it
simply serves to recharge the batteries, and extends the driving
range of the mindset by many hundreds of kilometers – and all with
just one tankfull of petrol. Even though, in hybrid mode, the
mindset can’t be driven entirely emission-free, through the Range
Extender it still consumes only minimal amounts of energy and
produces minimal emissions.
‚Recuperation’ is the
term that mindset uses for ‚winning back’ energy (indeed, that’s the
literal meaning of ‚recuperate’ in the original Latin – recuperare).
For example, since 1952, the Swiss mountain railways have used this
very principle. In electric vehicles, recuperation makes sense and
adds to the fun. Instead of standard mechanical braking (whereby
kinetic energy is converted into unusable heat) through recuperation
the car can be decelerated or even brought to a complete halt, and
the required braking energy can be simultaneously recovered and
stored in the battery. So you get not only a reduced electricity
consumption with an increased driving range, but also a whole new
driving paradigm is being established! And even the ‚late brakers’
among you can drive with a clear conscience.
Simply plug into a wall
socket – and wall sockets can be found practically everywhere – and
within a matter of hours the battery will be fully-charged again –
it couldn’t be easier. It also couldn’t be cheaper, since a dozen
kilowatt-hours at the price of an espresso will deliver around 100
kilometers of driving. And it could hardly be environmentally
friendlier: even if the power isn’t from hydroelectric sources, the
overall eco-balance of the mindset stays firmly in the green. And
that means considerably lower than the average automobile of today.
People are spending
ever-more time in their cars, while, at the same time, the average
driving speed sinks ever lower. Nowadays, in the big European
cities, it’s somewhere around 30 km/h. So why buckle yourself into a
racing seat, when you could be comfortably stretched out on the sofa
– just like at home? With this image in mind we conceived the
mindset’s bench seat. So it not only offers two people a lot of
room, it also gives them the freedom to properly enjoy it. Whether
the passangers want to be budged up together, or keep their
distance, whether they want to get in and out on either the left- or
the right-hand side, the bench seat affords every opportunity.
Thanks to high-quality materials, the bench seat is not only
decidedly inviting, but it can also, of course, be kitted out with
accessories to suit your tastes and needs. Headrests, safety belts,
and driver and passenger airbags are, naturally, included in the
The sun provides around
1000 watts of energy per square meter. With the advances in today’s
photovoltaic technology 16% of that energy – when the weather
conditions are right – can be converted into stored electricity in
the batteries. The mindset’s glass roof can be laminated with a
transparent skin of solar panels and thus be converted into a solar
power station. And that provides even more kilometers of driving
enjoyment daily. And after a few more days in the open air, the
batteries will have completely recharged themselves.
The guiding principles of classic automobile construction still hold
true today: Lightness – in every sense of the word – is attractive.
An elephant, for all its majesty, is never going to be considered
elegant. Light, slim and spacious and with a pure aesthetic: that’s
how mindset sees the contemporary Commuter.
The spaceframe was first
developed around 1900 for use in aircraft construction, and was
later carried over into racing vehicles. By spaceframe we mean a
framework constructed either from steel tubing or profiles, and
which forms the main load-bearing structure of the car. The skin
used to envelop this framework can be extremely light, since it
itself has no load-bearing requirements. Modern racing and super
sportscars have a spaceframe made from aluminium or high-performance
composite materials. From a structural standpoint, the spaceframe
provides low body weight and an unsurpassed stiffness and
A so-called hybrid spaceframe forms the load-bearing elements in the
mindset. The base framework consists of welded aluminium profiles in
conjunction with a lightweight roof construction. Thanks to the
visual lightness that this combination provides, the occupants of
the mindset get to enjoy panoramic views. And of course, the entire
structural framework of the car has been designed as a safety cage
for the passengers.
Although the mindset is
still in the development phase, we have some technical figures set
already as our goals.
The charming commuter-coupé comes as a 2+2 seater and combines the
following technical specs:
length: 4260 mm
unloaded weight: ~800 kg (with Range Extender ~900 kg)
electric motor: 70 kW, 220 Nm
Range Extender: 17 kW
top speed: 140 km/h (electronically limited)
acceleration: 0-100 km/h in ~7 sec.
range electric: 100-200 km, according to the driving style, ECE
combined 180 km
range with Range Extender: more than 800 km
CO2 emission electric: 0 g/km ( local ); 1-59 g/km (according to
CO2 emission with Range Extender: max. 79 g/km
All information is valid
as of November 2008.
Mindset brings the
running costs down. In electric mode, for the price of an espresso,
it will deliver around 100 kilometers of driving. With the Range
Extender in service, the running cost at a constant 120 km/h over a
hundred kilometers is under 4 liters. And that’s before you take
into account the power provided by the solar collector.
Zero emission vehicles
are those that operate emission-free locally, i.e. without producing
any environmentally-damaging by-products. In many cities – for
example London and Milan – special exemptions are already in place
for ZEVs, either so that they can freely travel into and out of
congestion-charging zones, or that they are exempt from any
prevailing Eco-taxes. Indeed, in many countries, the purchase and
maintenance of ZEVs is subsidised by the government. The mindset is
a ZEV when running under battery power – as betokened by the green
light on its tailfin – a small reminder that the driver is someone