lb-ft @ 1600 rpm
hp @ 4200 rpm
lbs per hp
hp per liter
(Press release by
Rinspeed) Double your pleasure, double your fun - Rinspeed Presto.
RINSPEED DESIGN, the Swiss creative source for innovative automotive
concepts and fantasies, presents a very special attraction on the
occasion of its 25th anniversary:
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
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.
Give me a smile
From the first glance the smiling face of the Presto is universally
appealing. The contoured drooping hood sports a mouth-shaped front
grill whose upturned corners definitely appear to signal ‘Hi – I am
in a good mood.’ The body of the Presto itself tapers off into a
front spoiler, a bumper in the traditional sense of the term is
non-existent. The headlights of the Presto come from the Mercedes
C-Class sports coupe.
In its role as a quick, highly maneuverable city speedster the
Presto appears stocky yet sporty, thanks to extremely short front
and rear overhangs. With a wheelbase of 1’750 millimeters and an
overall length of 2.99 meters it can fit even in the smallest
As a four-seater with a wheelbase of 2’496 millimeters the roadster
appears much sleeker, poised to strike. The Remus side pipes are
more than just a sporty styling element. They also allowed the
engineers to avoid a variable and complicated exhaust routing.
During the transformation process the body glides past the side
pipes with interference. Since the Presto does not have any doors,
the upper side pipes are designed to swing out and make entering and
exiting the vehicle easier for the little ones.
The entire body of the Presto consists of Pre-Preg-Composite, a
modern plastic material rarely used in vehicle design for cost
reasons. It offers extraordinary stability at comparatively low
Show me the way
The creators of the Presto came up with a very special solution for
the vehicle rear and front: Instead of conventional light signals
the Rinspeed Presto informs other drivers in writing about the
intent of its driver. The innovative lighting technology with
powerfully bright LED lights is contributed by in.pro. During
braking the international word ‘Stop’ appears on the brake lights,
and during turns ‘Turn’ appears on the appropriate signal. With
lights turned on, the taillights proclaim the vehicle’s name,
‘Presto’, to those who follow. A color camera integrated into the
taillights reveals any potential obstacles to the driver in the
The Presto shows its noble heritage in the interior, too. The
dashboard comes from the A-Class and the seats are from the smart.
The fiery-orange interior is as versatile as the body. The
comfortable two-seater turns into a spacious pick-up or four-seater
roadster at the push of a button. The rear-seat passengers can enjoy
more leg room than in an A-Class with long wheelbase. In addition,
the rear seats can be folded down individually and make almost any
interior configuration possible.
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.
Rinspeed-C.E.O. Frank M. Rinderknecht (46) used highly advanced
technology and a Swiss-based network of automotive and natural-gas
specialists (Gasverbund Mittelland AG and SVGW) for his project.
Although 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.
Swiss based ESORO is an innovative and independent engineering
company that delivers solutions for the automotive industry. The
company is well known for its innovations in the areas of composite
materials, production technologies, lightweight construction and
fuel cell vehicles. ESORO's prototypes are renowned for their
originality, quality, design and fuel efficiency. Looking back at a
number of impressive prototypes - the last one being a Swiss
developed Fuel-Cell-Vehicle called “HyCar”-, ESORO has proven their
engineering competence. At this time, ESORO develops a new and very
efficient technology for thermoplastic composite materials for the
automotive and aeronautical industries.
ESORO was hired already the third time as general contractor for the
entire project, including for project management, engineering,
design and manufacturing of the Presto. ESORO completed the
challenging task on schedule with the help of three of its best
Schwaller Movement Engineering
Schwaller Movement Engineering - a supplier of prototype parts and
experimental vehicles to the Sauber Formula 1 team and German motor
sports and vehicle manufacturers - was commissioned for the complex
structural chassis modifications and metal fabrications.
Protoscar SA - based in Southern Switzerland - oversaw the design
and animation on a sophisticated 3D CAD system for the Presto.
Protoscar is specialized in 3D design, animation and conceptional
work in the automotive sector and for other industrial fields.
Logos Advanced Composites manufactured the moulds and composite
parts of the Presto. Logos is specialized in the manufacturing of
high quality composite parts in the Prepreg-process.
GVM - the largest regional Natural gas company of Switzerland -
partners with Rinspeed
GVM which stands for „Gasverbund Mittelland“, the biggest regional
gas transport company in Switzerland, teamed up with Rinspeed.The natural gas vehicle (NGV) version shown by GVM and Rinspeed
includes the concept car Presto, a Mercedes-Benz 170 CDI A-class and
the GVM monovalent SMART.
The Presto is driven by a natural gas engine uses the dual fuel
natural gas diesel combustion process. The same converted engine
provides power to the A-class Mercedes-Benz in a clean and
environmentally friendly way. The GVM NGV SMART, runs on natural gas
only (monovalent mode) and has a range of about 300 km.
Natural gas as an alternative fuel is becoming more and more
popular in Switzerland too.
Natural gas is a clean burning, environmentally friendly fuel and
offers a sustainable alternative for vehicles. In times where the
intensity of travel increases and goes more and more towards
individual motorization the emissions of this sector are causing
levels of pollution which can no longer be tolerated (c.f. Italy in
January). For the time being only natural gas offers a valuable and
practical alternative with an infrastructure in place. Natural gas
is a fuel for the future, present today. Because of its simple
chemical structure and its combustion properties natural gas is an
inherently clean fuel. There is a big potential to massively reduce
the emission of internal combustion engines i.e. soot, particles,
nitrous oxides, carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons responsible for smog
and ozone formation as well as global warming. Heavy duty natural
gas engines produce less noise than their diesel analogs. As an
additional benefit the use of natural gas diminishes the oil
dependency of the fuel supply. Today natural gas is used
predominantly in stationary applications like space heating. But you
can drive on natural gas as convenient as with diesel or petrol.
The future of mobility belongs to natural gas.
The engines, power trains, vehicles are serial products offered by
many automobile manufacturers. Refuelling is easy and possible at
more than 40 refuelling sites all over Switzerland. The refuelling
infrastructure will be continuously expanded so we will see fifty
public stations at the end of 2003. Range is no problem. Most
natural gas cars are bivalent they can run on natural gas or petrol
A word from our most important supporters: our partners
Antera took up the challenge of producing special wheels with
high-gloss rims to carry these Continental tires. An Italian
company, it is famous for its avant-garde wheel designs and for the
unusual technical principles which it adopts. For example, the tire
valve is hidden behind the hub cover made of titanium so that the
wheel's overall appearance is not affected by the valve protruding
from the rim.
Most motorists say they enjoy being at the wheel of their car and
they especially like sporty driving. At the same time the number of
more powerful cars is also rising. Continental's new tyre, the
ContiSportContact 2, is specifically designed to meet the demands of
drivers of fast cars such as Porsches, the Mercedes SLK or BMW Z 3.
And Germany's leading tyre and suspension specialist expects the
market for performance tyres able to handle speeds of up to and over
240 km/h (150 mph) to grow by approximately 40% in the course of the
next five years.
With regard to suspension technology, the company Eibach, one of the
leading suspension components manufacturer supported Rinspeed with
the Presto. The company Eibach which is specialized in suspension
technology and works for the most important motor sports teams
worldwide - among others also for the most part of the Formula 1
field - developed the springs and the stabilizer bars for the
Rinspeed Presto. Its suspension developments gave Eibach a
first-class name worldwide. Several decades of experience in the
world market have enabled Eibach to offer, today, complete
suspension systems that consider the interrelating of the most
important suspension components - spring, damper, stabilizer bar -
as an interactive function, a very important aspect. The Presto is
the ideal platform to demonstrate Eibach’s capabilities.
Folia Tec - innovative partner
Presto - the snappy city car which by the push of a button can be
extended by 75 cm and transformed into a four-seater roadster/
pickup - is full of surprises. Numerous FOLIA TEC® products from the
latest range of the German Carstyling Factory contribute to the
success of this innovative creation by the Swiss concept car studio
Rinspeed: with PEDAL-Set Colorline, silver BRAKE-CaliperLacquer,
SHORT-SHIFT Fiberstyle, ALU-RaceGrid, DOOR-Pins, STEP
DoorSillCovers, ALU LicencePlateScrews, INTERIOR Colorspray,
INSTYLE-InteriorMirror and NEON-Lights in all variations, the
concept car features a comprehensive selection of cool FOLIA TEC®
ideas for individual carstyling. So the Mercedes A-class is „presto,
presto“ transformed into a personality which is certain to cause a
sensation at the Geneva Motor Show.
FOLIA TEC®, the Carstyling Factory from Nuremberg, was founded more
than 20 years ago as a supplier of individual carstyling
accessories: AutoglassFilms, Exterior and Interior Styling
Accessories, Wheel Accessories, Engine Design, Neon and Special
Effects. The do-it-yourself products are always an innovative step
ahead of current trends. International success is ensured by
business partners around the globe.
In.pro. - “Everything that makes cars fun …”
Following a successful involvement in the last Rinspeed concept
vehicle, the Advantige Rone, the north German automobile accessory
specialist in.pro. is delighted to be providing support to Rinspeed
for the appointments of the new concept car - the Presto - as well.
in.pro has stood for
high-quality, innovative automobile accessories in the sectors
design, interior, comfort, safety, and fun for more than 20 years.
Technology freaks and aesthetes are equally enthusiastic about the
more than 4’000 in.pro. products, for in.pro.’s highest priority is
the joy the customer has with his or her car. For a very reasonable
price, everybody can enhance their vehicle in an optical (e.g. with
design products as clear glass taillights), more comfortable (e.g.
aftermarket remote controls) or safer (e.g. alarms or parking
systems) manner. The new ideas are created by a team of development
engineers and trend scouts. For the efficient realization of the
first idea to ready-made products for the customer, in.pro. employs
more than 45 people in their headquarters at Henstedt-Ulzburg and
maintains a world wide dealer network of more than 300 partners. “It
was an important factor for our cooperation that the new ideas and
products initiated and realized on the Presto-project remain not
only conceptional studies, but soon find their way to the new
in.pro. catalogue for our customers to order for their very own car”
says in.pro.’s C.E.O. Jörg Knoblich.
Stainless steel, laser precision, optimal performance and the
typical REMUS sound, these are the four characteristics that
distinguish REMUS sport exhausts. Through their involvement in motor
sports and their close cooperation with world champions like Jacques
Villeneuve or Damon Hill, European champions and other champs, REMUS
gains important knowledge for the development and production of high
quality silencers. High quality comes first for REMUS and it is
attained by using stainless steel in combination with other high
grade raw materials. Tests have shown that this combination
guarantees best results under thermal and mechanical stress. The
wage: REMUS will take a leading position in the favor of the public.
The success of the sponsoring activities of REMUS is impressively
documented by the readers’ survey of numerous specialist