The staff at Rinspeed must just sit around all day and think about ways to be different. What else can explain a bunch of people who look at a Lotus Elise and say, "That looks like the perfect submarine!" But the SQuba was at last year’s Geneva Motor Show, so how is Rinspeed going to top that this year? How about an electric car that changes its shape for the number of passengers.
The car starts out as a single seater for best aerodynamics, and will expand to carry two more passengers when needed. Rinspeed has built the set up so that the rear end containing the extra seats will "pop up" and only create the extra drag when necessary. The iChange also has no doors. The entire electrically powered roof section tilts forward to allow passengers to board. This isn’t as complicated as it sounds because the car only measures 1.03 meters (3.4 feet) in height. Another “different” feature is that the car does not have a key. Instead the car an Apple iPhone will is used for access as well as many other important vehicle functions.
The iChange is powered by an electric motor those energy comes from lithium-ion batteries that are available in two different stack configurations for short and long-distance driving. The electric motor produces 201 hp, capable of propelling the car to a top speed of 136 mph and a 0 to 60 mph sprint in four seconds. This kind of performance can be achieved because Rinspeed is using the six-speed transmission out of an established performer, the Subaru WRX.
Press release after the jump