Stand­ing room only

Herald Sun - Motoring - - First Drive - JOSHUA DOWL­ING NA­TIONAL MO­TOR­ING ED­I­TOR joshua.dowl­ing@news.com.au

THE Geneva mo­tor show is known for the weird on wheels, but at least one car got a stand­ing ova­tion— and we’re not re­fer­ring to Fer­rari’s first hy­brid su­per­car (see page

X). Odd­ball Swiss com­pany Rin­speed has cre­ated a tiny car that has stand­ing room only.

It fits in the same size park­ing space as a Mini Cooper but, at 2.2m high, is as tall as a van. The Mi­cro­Max braces drivers and oc­cu­pants in up­right po­si­tions to com­fort­ably fit four peo­ple into the small­est car pos­si­ble.

The car’s com­pact di­men­sions are de­signed to beat traf­fic con­ges­tion and solve park­ing prob­lems.

But given that you’re stand­ing, you may be no bet­ter off than if you were trav­el­ling on a crowded train.

The Mi­cro­Max is pow­ered by a 32kW elec­tric mo­tor from a fork­lift, and the car emits a hum to warn pedes­tri­ans it’s ap­proach­ing.

Although it is de­signed as com­muter trans­port, this topsy-turvy ve­hi­cle has a top speed of 95km/h.

Rin­speed says: ‘‘ This in­ge­nious com­muter ve­hi­cle merges per­sonal and pub­lic trans­porta­tion in very clever fash­ion.’’

In other words, it’s a small per­sonal tram you can park your­self. Come to think of it, you’re not re­stricted to tram tracks ei­ther.

As in all con­cept car prom­ises th­ese days, the Mi­cro­Max also has a so­cial me­dia net­work, ex­cept this one may have some merit. It al­lows peo­ple to hitch a ride. Sub­scribers to ‘‘ ur­ban swarm’’ can plot their des­ti­na­tion in the hope that some­one in a Mi­cro­Max is go­ing their way.

But don’t rush to a deal­er­ship or down­load the mo­bile phone app just yet, though. For now it is just a mo­tor show tease. This re­porter isonTwit­ter:

@JoshuaDowl­ing

Com­pact: Rin­speed’s Mi­cro­Max is de­signed to beat traf­fic con­ges­tion and solve park­ing prob­lems

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