Geneva Auto Show: Rinspeed BamBoo

The Geneva Motor Show is just a few months away, which means it’s about time for something wild to appear from concept-car maestro Frank M. Rinderknecht and his Rinspeed company. Three years ago it was sQuba submarine car. Two years ago, the shape-shifting iChange. And last year, the diminutive UC?, ready to roll right off the street and onto a train.

For the March 2011 Geneva exhibition, Rinderknecht is taking a bit of a nostalgic turn, evoking innocent, laid-back fun in the sun with the BamBoo, an understated, open-top, electric vehicle that Rinspeed calls “a grownup golf cart.”

Rinspeed "BamBoo" concept car

image via Rinspeed

So is it made of bamboo? Kind of. “Many of the components are made from bamboo fibers,” the company says. But the bamboo element doesn’t seems be part of the design as a revolutionary use of the fast-growing fiber. Instead, it deepens the emotional impact of the car.

“BamBoo pushes the reset button, clears the mind for a new way of thinking,” Rinspeed says. It sports simple, clean lines. No bells, no whistles.  Nothing is superfluous. Plain aesthetics in their purest form. As stated before and even in a figurative sense: Nomen est omen. Simply bamboo.”

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

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