Rinspeed Zazen

rinspeed-zazen-7.jpgrinspeed-zazen-51.jpgI thought I would give you some information on the car gracing our header at the moment so I included a piece that was originally writen for a web based magazine. enjoyrinspeed-zazen-6.jpg

I have been told that ones pets are a reflection of your personality. This I suppose is true of most.

However I am convinced that your car is a image of what you would look like if you had wheels.It’s true! Have a look at the guy on the street.The ones wearing Rugby shorts, velskoens and a T-shirt that doesn’t cover the navel that protrudes from his hairy beer belly, are most likely to be the proud owner of at least one Ford Courtina or 2000BC Opel Cadette with all the trimmings.Ranging from dashboard fur to bobbing head dog for the parcel tray.

These cars are very unique and can be distinguished by the barbed wire holding up the exhaust pipe and the old South-African flag gracing various focal points of the car. The paint job is almost always the same faded red as the impeuned T-shirt or sort of primer cream color.  

There are the car pool moms.These soldiers of civilization have learnt to drive under the most dire of circumstances and in the most hair raising eye ball popping noises.Their vehicle of choice is usually a VW Mini bus (see I knew there was a use for VW) that has the most amazing pallet of kid snot smeared across every window, seat and door. This vehicle could double for a hardware shop, pharmacy and toy shop all at once. And the crowning feature is the fly swatter that dangles from the rear view mirror for incase the passenger become too unruly. 

Then there are the rebels.The individualists of the road way.


We live by the saying that “no car is good enough until it has been stripped down and changed into something completely different”.I have known members of our community who can’t look at a new car and say. “That‘s nice”They rather opt for “That has potential”Our cars usually have names too.And in times of need we are more than willing to sacrifice the girlfriend’s undies in the name of a clean car.

Unfortunately this is a culture that is somewhat limited by monetary resources, and often customizing a car becomes a case of trying to combine a selection of production goods in the most creative possible way. So now the question is…“What would you do if you had unlimited resources?” 

I personally have contemplated this unlikely scenario on numerous occasions and I have come to the simple conclusion that if you want the best and can afford the best you must enlist the best.

And who may the best be?

Well that would be Swedish a company named Rinspeed. Rinspeed is a company that caters for the crème de la crème of the motoring world they have created customized boats, choppers and cars for the ultra rich with the ultra motors.They are also famous for one or two conceptualized improved versions of production cars.Such as the ZaZen.

The ZaZen was introduced to the world in a recent Geneva car show. Where Rinspeed is a trusted Show stopper, and this year was no different as they unveiled a car so unique in design and so high tech in execution that it has since become a media buzz word. The ZaZen is a whole lot of inspiration with just the right amounts of funk, youth and imagination to make heads turn and jaws drop.

The idea for the car is based on the Buddhist teaching of Zen. Zen is a state of being that is achieved only when we are able to move away from preconceived ideas. Thus when the founder of Rinspeed, Frank M. Rinderknecht, looked at the Porsche 997 Carrrera, he saw not what it was supposed to look like, but what he wanted it too look like and then set about creating what he calls “automotive enlightenment”. 

For the focal point Rinderknecht envisioned a solid elongated transparent molded dome to replace the short stubby Porsche roof. And this is exactly what he got. By enlisting the help of a gentleman named Ian Patterson of Bayer Material Science.

Bayer Material Science used their unique patented Macrolon, which is a transparent polycarbonate, to mold the bubble like roof and fitted it using a transparent elastic sealant.The rarity of the ZaZen’s one of a kind bubble roof is amplified by the use of liquid crystal technology that turns the roof opaque at the flick if a switch just like the skylight of the Mybach 62.The roof is also used to make the glow of the third brake light ,that is housed inside the roof, seem holographic. While the bubble roof may be the most notable feature of the car it is not the most amazing.

Accentuated by the specially drafted head and tail lights the remodeled body shimmers like snow in bright sun light. That’s because a very unique (and very expensive) paint technique was used on the ZaZen. It’s called “crystal skin” and literally has tinny Swarovski crystals embedded in the paint and protected by a self healing clear coat.The paint was not only used on the body work but also on the custom design five spoke mango orange mags.Inspired by the Alps, Rinspeed wanted a paint that would have the same aesthetic appeal as snow and it was clear that this would require more than an average paint. 

 The paint was developed and applied by Karl Seelos who is a household name among the filthy rich for custom paint finishes. The exterior color theme of translucent, ice white and mango orange has been carried through to the interior.

Beneath the bubble dome of this rather special porch the interior is the car of the future built for the style of today. Ordinary regular upholstered seats have been replaced by a transparent shell wrapped in body molding techno-gel.They border somewhat on space aged but there is no denying that they are fresh and not to mention juicy.The rest of the interior is hand made and covered in bright mango leather with tones of beige just to break the bright.

While I am nuts about the interior of the car I have one complaint. I believe that something could have been done about the vents for the cooling system. They remind me of the cheap plastic stuff in my mother’s Mazda Tracer. For the steering wheel, gear knob and hand brake lever the orange leather has been combined with oiled wood from the Luoro Faia Plantations, this gives the car a hint at the luxury car genre that it originated from while blending in perfectly with its new found sporty exuberance. The best news about the car is that she is not just a juicy looker, but she also offers a hand full of muscle to spice up the mix.

While the engine has not been modified the standard boxer engine that kicks out a hefty 355bhp is by no means a tame ride.The 6 speed manual puts power to the rear wheels, and at 6600rpm the six cylinder cranks a good 400NM of torque.She will give you a 0-100km/h in exactly 4.8 seconds and go on until the Dunlop touch rubber is speeding down the road at a top speed of 293km/h.All of this speed is made better by the prospect of having a full three sixty view of your contender as he sucks your exhaust fumes.   

Whilst writing this article I have heard and read many views on the car. Some have said that it looks too space aged while others have given it the thumbs saying that its funky and fresh. But what ever your opinion one cannot reject the fact that the ZaZen is youthful, original and beautifully put together. Whether you like the car or not, it makes and impression and blurs the lines of conventionality. It makes you think that perhaps there are no rules and that we are simply limited by the stretch of our imaginations.

Welcome to Zen        


~ by nosjunkie on March 10, 2008.

8 Responses to “Rinspeed Zazen”

  1. I love Zen. Can I buy the car in the U.S.? Will you come visit and come for a ride if I do?

  2. abso bluddy lutely CEO!!!!
    shes gawjisss hey !

  3. ooh s’very pretty… can i have one too??!

  4. well if I had to drive a car i reckon that one would be ok
    but since I don’t I’l take the truck version!

  5. i like the name but that’s about it 😉

  6. Honey, you need to be writing for a car magazine!!

  7. hahaha aah thnaks Clauds your a doll!

  8. Awesome Photos and Article. Very interesting. Good Reading keep it up.

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