This may actually be one of the most Jalopnik cars in existence and, as a shooting brake, it fits within our day's wagon theme. What makes it such a Jalopnik ride? Start with the fact that it's based on the Porsche 996 Carrera but upgraded to use natural gas, giving it 420 horsepower and 413 lb.-ft. of torque. Then realize that it's a wagon/shooting brake concept with room for four. Finally, remember that it is able to convert itself into a two-seater small truck. Porschaminowagon! Perfect for a Klan rally on Tatooine, as pictured above.
Rinspeed Bedouin - Oriental Quick-Change Artist - Rinspeed Bedouin[Source: Rinspeed]
At the push of a button the Rinspeed Bedouin can be transformed from a roomy two-seater pick-up into a sporty yet spacious four-seater wagon sporting the trendy 'allroad' look - in less than ten seconds. With its high roofline the Bedouin also offers lots of room and seating comfort for rear-seat passengers. Even more, the increase of interior space can be used as an enclosed cargo bed by folding down the backrest of the rear seats.
"With the Rinspeed Bedouin we wanted to show that there's lots of untapped creative potential regarding multi-purpose vehicles," says Frank M. Rinderknecht (47), C.E.O. of Rinspeed AG. "From our point of view MPVs can contribute to the preservation of the world's resources since they're capable of taking on many of the specialized uses of second or third cars. And they can adapt to the specific transportation needs at hand within seconds."
The transformation trick
The almost magical transformation sequence is started by two electric motors that drive jackscrews to lift the entire roof of the vehicle. The front part of the roof then folds and in effect becomes the tailgate window while the rear part of the roof turns into the cargo bed. The tailgate is also electrically powered and can be lowered to extend the bed by another 45 centimeters to an overall length of 185 centimeters. The bed can be used to transport bulky cargo and serves as a modern tent replacement and romantic bunk for leisurely rests.
To comply with highest safety standards the entire mechanism is fitted with redundant self-locking safeties and for maximum effect is operated with a remote control.
The fastest natural gas vehicle in the world
The Rinspeed Bedouin is powered by a future-oriented environment-friendly twin-turbo engine running on natural gas. Natural gas is an extremely clean-burning fuel that consists almost entirely of methane and contains almost no sulfur.
Protecting the environment does not preclude driving fun: The four-valve engine is from Porsche and produces 420 hp / 309 kW at 6,000 rpm. It delivers its impressive maximum torque of 560 Nm at just 2,700 rpm. Performance is accordingly proud: The 1,640-kg Bedouin accelerates in roughly 5.9 seconds to 100 km/h and reaches an electronically and mechanically limited top speed of 250 km/h.
Sporty thoughts ...
The sporty lines of the Bedouin attract attention even at first glance. It is a little reminiscent of the Porsche 911, type 996 Carrera, from which it takes the 4x4 platform. In keeping with the English tradition of the 'shooting break,' the sporty wagon of the affluent hunter, the roofline exhibits a dynamic swing that gradually flattens out toward the rear. The wide rear fenders and their striking air inlets exude raw power. The large air inlets in the front provide ample cooling air and also contribute to the powerful appearance of the Bedouin.
A sporty stainless-steel exhaust from Remus with milled all-aluminum tailpipes provides the adequate sound and gives the rear a unique and dynamic look.
The elaborate roof design made from aluminum profiles is witness to the engineering prowess of Rinspeed. The entire mechanism for operating the roof is hidden from view behind the sidewalls. Green-tinted Folia Tec glass in the roof louvers creates a bright and cozy ambiance even when the roof is closed.
Thanks to a sporty yet comfortable custom Eibach suspension, the body of the Bedouin sits about 15 centimeters higher than that of the Porsche equivalent. The suspension, which features adjustable ride height and firmness, offers a perfect synthesis of ride comfort and sporty handling.
The rearview mirrors as well as the front and rear bumpers are painted with sparkling crystal paint from Swarovski, which also contributed the fully crystal hood emblem and the rear badge featuring SDS technology.
In the Bedouin even the taillights look forward - into the future. In.pro. custom-developed chrome-plated LED taillights for the Bedouin, which not only initiate a new design trend but also offer increased traffic safety due to their exceptionally fast reaction time.
The entire body of the Bedouin is made up of Pre-Preg composite, a state-of-the-art plastic rarely used in automotive production. It combines a low specific weight with extraordinarily high strength.
Crystal worlds of leather
The Bedouin shows its proud heritage in the interior, too. Most of the interior of the Bedouin was retained from the Porsche 996 Carrera and was custom-upholstered with exquisite "Poltrona-Frau leather" from X-Mobil. The brown hue of the color "Cotto" harmonizes perfectly with the exterior color, which changes from slightly green to copper.
The Rinspeed designers also broke new ground in the selection of materials. In a partnership with the world-leading manufacturer of crystal glass Swarovski they created ultra-modern and visionary new interior elements. The hand-covered door panels shine in soft hues of brown and white. The gearshift-lever grip is made from solid crystal with a shift pattern embedded using endographics. Lasers were used to imprint the leather seats with Rinspeed logos, which were then in turn covered with crystals.
A seven-inch color LCD monitor folds down from a recessed position in the roofliner. It can display the signal from the rearview camera for the driver or entertain the passenger with the program of an integrated DVD player. The system was developed Blaupunkt and also allows connecting an external programming source such as a Sony Playstation.
The Rinspeed Bedouin runs on voluminous fully off-road capable 18-inch Continental SportContact 4x4-tires in sizes 255/55 in front and 285/50 in the rear. The Continental tires combine environment-friendly design, exceptional off-road capabilities and excellent grip on road surfaces. The tires are mounted on two-piece Rinspeed aluminum wheels (8.5x18" Rim Offset 40 mm front, 10x18" Rim Offset 52 mm rear) custom-made by ATP.
The installed progressive-rate Wandfluh steering contributes greatly to the cat-like agility of the Bedouin. A mere half a turn of the steering wheel separates the full left from the full right position. This steering system makes fast steering-angle changes child play without compromising directional stability.