While in charge of design at German brand BMW, Chris Bangle was responsible for some of the firm's biggest hits – and misses. Now though, after a hiatus from car design, he's back with a rather different proposition – a tiny electric city car.
The car's been designed for Redspace, a new Chinese automotive company. It describes the car as a 'new kind of EV that introduces a new visual language for cars', having had the exterior and interior design overseen by Bangle's consultancy company.
Crafted with massive Chinese megacities in mind, the Redspace car confronts a sad reality – that vehicles in these environments often spend as much as 90 per cent of their time in stationary traffic. Therefore, the vehicle's wacky exterior styling comes second to its versatile and stylish interior.
The car itself is under three metres long – for reference, a conventional city car such as the Skoda Citigo is 3.5m long. However, it has massive, square doors to aid access, and up to four people can sit in comfort, courtesy of staggered front seats and a wraparound rear bench. The negative-angle windscreen increases the sense of space, and also allows for a larger roof with solar charging panels.
When parked up, the driving controls fold away and a large, 17-inch infotainment screen pops out, turning the Redspace car into a stationary social space.
In common with its low-speed city bias, the car only has a top speed of 75mph. Despite the blocky shape, it's claimed the aerodynamics are similar to a van or SUV – but with such a tall body and short wheelbase, we wouldn't want to do long motorway trips.
Though this is simply a concept car at the moment, it's intended to reach production virtually intact. Redspace has not yet specified a timeline for this, though.
Related video: Chris Bangle on the BMW GINA concept