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2009 Geneva Show: iChange We Can't Entirely Believe In

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Rinspeed iChange

Rinspeed iChange

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If you're heading to the Geneva International Motor Show next March, there are two things you ought to know: (a) we love chocolate, and (b) Frank M. Rinderknecht is unveiling another wacky concept car.

Yes, the Swiss mystery man is adding to his conceptual stable of autos that morph at the press of a button and travel underwater. This time, he's giving us the iChange, an electric car that boasts zero emissions and low body weight. That doesn't sound especially innovative given the dozens of other electric cars threatening to flood auto markets, but of course, there's a catch: the iChange is a "1-2-3 seater." Which is clearly designed to make people cock their heads and ask, a la Gary Coleman, "Wha' chu talkin' about, Mr. Rinderknecht?"

Much like his other cars, the iChange is a transformer. In its default configuration, the car accommodates one person--the driver. But using an "electronic trick-tail", the back of the cabin jacks up to handle up to three people. That's hardly what I'd call a "sportsvan", but whatever. It's his vision; we're just living in it.

You have to love guys like Mr. Rinderknecht--the ones out there pushing boundaries and thinking out loud. But with a name like "iChange" (does Steve Jobs know?) and a press release that ends with a clunky, jingo-ish "Yes, we can!", you have to wonder if this electric car is really ahead of the pack.-- Richard Read

Rinspeed iChange

Rinspeed iChange

Enlarge Photo

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