Senso is radically different from any other prototype
ever built and shown to the public. According to the Swiss company
Rinspeed, the ultimate driving experience is not about the technology
but the driver. They have regularly produced radically different,
fully-working prototypes during European auto shows and the Rinspeed
Senso is no different.
concept cars focus on environmental impact or unique technological
breakthroughs, the Rinspeed Senso highlights driver comfort and
relaxation. Originally presented in March of 2005 at the Geneva
Motor Show, the far out, far Eastern Rinspeed Senso runs on petrol
and natural gas, is lightweight at 3,053 lbs and reduces average
CO2 emissions by as much as 30-percent.
positive environmental benefits, the Senso's most prominent feature
is not earth-friendliness but being driver-friendly. The Rinspeed
Senso, as its name implies, is a car that "senses". In
this case, the car correspondingly adjusts its properties to the
driver to create the most positive driving experience possible,
putting its passengers in a Zen-like state.
Senso is equipped with a sophisticated system of sensors developed
by the Universities of Zurich and Innsbruck that measures and collects
biometric data and adjusts patterns, colors, music and fragrances
to feed the most ideal conditions to the driver's senses including
sight, touch, feel, smell and hearing.
Polar watch to measure pulse
* mobile cameras recording driving behavior in detail at real-time
the high-end driver experience by automatically adjusting:
conditions using Smart Surface Technology
* Original and custom written soundtracks
* Fragrances that either calm or stimulate
* Vibrating seats when tiredness sets in
is both controversial and unique. The Rinspeed Senso is a real-deal
three-seater, the driver sits front and center with two seats on
either side behind him. The automakers used carbon parts for both
interior and exterior allowing for a cool, futuristic look. The
chassis, developed by KW Automotive GmbH, is equipped with height-adjustable
coilover suspensions, allowing for great adjustments in driving
Senso's engine is that of a 3.2 liter Porsche boxer S. The Senso
has six-speed transmission and accelerates from 0-60 mph in a mere
5.9 seconds. It can run top speed at 150 mph and produces a usable
power of 250 bhp at 6200 rpm and has a maximum torque of 300 Nm
at 4600 rpm.
The tires are
from Continental SportContact and are mounted on Barracuda rims
measuring 8.5x19" the front and 9.5x19" at the rear. Other
showpiece technologies featured in the car when it was presented
include a satellite-linked emergency call system and fingerprint
recognition technology for added security and further cabin data
How is the
Rinspeed Senso as a real car? Is it something we can actually see
amongst regular traffic?
always been known to produce fully-working prototypes and the Senso
presented is a running, fully-working vehicle. The design is futuristic,
but may be too cutting edge for some. The lighting system alone
reminds one of laser blasters from sci-fi movies of the past. The
front, back and top views are gorgeous but it looks very much like
a toy from the side. The interior of the Rinspeed Senso is simple
and impressive, considering how many of its features are packed
in the cabin area.
design is brilliant and gives the feel of a real sports car. No
data have been released from independent test drivers but the specifications
sound like it can perform very well on the road.
I'm left feeling
a bit ambivalent about the automated adjustments that happen inside
the cabin. Done incorrectly, they can be extremely intrusive and
irritating. Executed well, however, these features can potentially
be a very good service. Will this relaxing and soothing technology
finally end the outbreaks of road rage, angry drivers, and frustrated
motorists on the road? My guess is no. But, I'm also willing to
be wrong about this one.