Rinspeed Mono Ego (1997)
Rinspeed Mono Ego
To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Rinspeed Design AG company, Frank M. Rinderknecht (41) has come up with something very special: the Swiss automobile tuner has created a vehicle that blends traditional beauty and forward-looking technology in a most impressive way – the Rinspeed Mono Ego. Developed in only a year, it is his company's anniversary contribution to the Geneva Salon de l'auto, an eye-catcher that could well generate active discussion among the visitors. Cooperation with leading international personalities and companies has put the "Rinspeed Mono Ego" in a position to make automobile history.
The French fashion designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac (who numbers champagne producer Pommery among his clients) has transformed the Mono Ego into a mobile work of art. In the words of Frank M. Rinderknecht: "We granted him every possible freedom. The result is a multicultural work of art, created jointly by the Swiss Rinspeed company and by Castelbajac."
The tires come from the Dunlop company, which developed a high-tech tire with a novel tread pattern specially for the wheels supplied by Antera. This new tire generation was scheduled to reach the market by the Spring of 1997. Running-gear technology comes from the Eibach company, which not only works for the leading international motor-sport teams but also for the McLaren Formula 1 racing team. For the Rinspeed Mono Ego, Eibach is exhibiting in Geneva competition shock absorbers with four-position adjustment which it has itself developed. The Remus company has produced an optimized-flow exhaust system for the Rinspeed Mono Ego. The Swiss company Rieter Automotive Systems supplied the finest of all carpets for the interior. To ensure that Jean-Charles de Castelbajac's artistry reaches its full flower on the car's body, which was built by TLC Carossiers Inc. in Florida and transported by the air-freight specialist Lufthansa to Europe, the Burg Design company digitized all the plans and drawings by a special high-tech process. Audio entertainment and flawless route planning are taken care of by a hi-fi radio and CD system and the first-class navigation equipment from Philips Car Systems. Headlights, rear lights and mirrors come from the Hyundai Tiburon Coupé, and the exclusive golf bag was made by the Swiss travel goods company De'Shama.
Frank M. Rinderknecht utilized the very latest techniques in his development work. The vehicle was drafted out by computerized (CAD/CAM) methods, which permit every detail of a 1:10 scale model to be processed with such precision that changes are scarcely ever needed when the full-scale model is made. As Rinderknecht explains: Using CAD/CAM, we obtain unsurpassed processing quality and also an unbeatable development speed."
Under the body, which recalls racing cars of an earlier era, the supercharged aluminum-block V8 engine has a rated output of 410 horsepower. This compact power-pack accelerates the single-seater to 100 km/h from a standstill in just 4.8 seconds (and on to a top speed of 258 km/h). The Rinspeed Mono Ego's aluminum body gives it outstanding strength and rigidity, but at the same time keeps its weight down to 960 kilograms – yielding a power-to-weight ratio that will delight and impress even those who favor the most exclusive Italian sports cars. The 16-inch wheels are shod with 245/65 and 275/70 tires and protected by almost invisible fenders – the visual effect simulated by the tire treads creating a convincing optical illusion.
The Rinspeed Mono Ego, Frank M. Rinderknecht's latest automobile creation, is equally notable for the fact that it is a fully road-going car that complies with valid European Union legislation. "We wanted to build an exclusive car, but one that could be taken out on the roads as well as acting as a pilot project at exhibitions." With these words, Rinderknecht emphasizes the ambitious objectives he put into effect when designing and building the Rinspeed Mono Ego. The cost of Rinspeed's objet d'art, which combines legality and artistry so effectively, has yet to be finalized.