eXasis - Glass-Free Transparency

Category: Automotive
Posted Feb 21, 2007 13:11 (GMT +7)

ZUMIKON, Switzerland & LEVERKUSEN, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 15, 2007
""Glass"" Concept Car to Mark Rinspeed's 30th Birthday 40 Years after Bayer's First ""All-Plastic"" Car
""There's never been anything like it"" was the title of an article in the online edition of an international news magazine when the first sketches of the new Rinspeed concept car, ""eXasis"", appeared on the Internet, ""and it looks like no other vehicle before it"". A drivable ""glass"" car with a completely transparent body and floor made of Makrolon(R). This Rinspeed creation will be shown to the public for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show (March 8-18, 2007), 40 years after Bayer presented the first ""all-plastic car"" in 1967 at the K67 Plastics Fair in Germany. In fact, the illustrations could only hint at what Swiss automotive visionary Frank M. Rinderknecht had thought up in collaboration with the experts from Bayer MaterialScience AG (NYSE:BAY) (GER:BAY) (LSE:BYR) - one of the largest plastics producers in the world - -to mark his company's 30th anniversary.
""Everyone who sees the eXasis for the first time raves about the glass car, but they actually mean our transparent high-tech plastic,"" says Ian Paterson, the member of the Bayer MaterialScience Board of Management responsible for Innovation, describing the typical reaction to the prototype. It was the plastics experts from BMS with their Makrolon(R) polycarbonate who were responsible for the transparency of the eXasis. Frank M. Rinderknecht: ""In this ethereal transparency, the true spirit of the eXasis becomes visible. An abstract idea becomes material, visions become a tangible car. Yet the eXasis still doesn't seem to have quite arrived in our material world.""
So is it just a clever 3D projection, a fata morgana or perhaps a four-wheel 'objet d'art'? In any case, the third vehicle to emerge from the cooperation between the two companies differs fundamentally from the other two: the futuristic-looking ""Senso"" and the pure-blooded ""zaZen"" sports car. The eXasis is a completely new development, in other words it is not based on a production-line vehicle. The insect-like, shiny yellow body with the exposed wheels can accommodate two people, one behind the other. And the transparency also provides an unrestricted view of the compact 2-cylinder 750ccm Weber engine, which, very unusually, sits above the transmission.
The eXasis is a real eyecatcher with nothing to hide: A glimpse through the outer Makrolon(R) shell, coated with a tinge of yellow, reveals the vehicle's load-bearing aluminum chassis. The two transparent indicator and function displays are an absolute delight, both technically and optically. They seem to hover on both sides in the driver's field of vision. By touching them, various functions can be displayed and controlled. Each of the touch-panels is made of a transparent CD/DVD Makrolon(R) blank that has been coated with electrically conductive Baytron(R) from H.C. Starck to trigger the switch functions.
Despite the attractive sweeping contours that blend smoothly into the car's transparency, the eXasis is 'edgy' and definitely has a character of its own. But everybody who has the pleasure of driving it agrees on one thing: glancing down through the transparent floor while the car is moving gives a very special kind of thrill ... Information for editors:: Extensive information and illustrative material are available online on: www.rinspeed.com and www.presse.bayerbms.de
Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in our public reports filed with the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (including our Form 20-F). The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.
CONTACT: Rinspeed
Frank M. Rinderknecht, +41 44 918-2323
Fax: +41 44 918-2420
Bayer MaterialScience
Gerd Dressen, +49 214 30-66204
Fax: +49 214 30-33779

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