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Is it a car? Is it a space?

It has been conceived for Chinese mega-cities where a car is not in movement 90 per cent of the time

Showing the exterior concept render of Redspace
Showing the exterior concept render of Redspace

RedSpace is an alpha prototype of a new kind of electric city car for China. The concept car project has been developed by the former head of BMW design Chris Bangle and his team for China Hi-Tech Group Corporation (CHTC).


The car is described as "a space that became a car". According to Chris Bangle Associates (CBA), it is conceived and crafted to get the most out of life in Chinese mega-cities, where a car is not in movement 90 per cent of the time. The 2.97 metre long vehicle is built around what CBA describes as a “multi-layered, design-led space-use analysis”.


This means attaching importance to the dynamic lifestyle opportunities that are possible in this kind of EV, especially when it’s stationary.


CBA said key to the success of RedSpace comes from understanding that if an electric vehicle is to function in new ways, it cannot be designed using the visual language of traditional cars.


“RedSpace breaks away from conventions. We are entering a fourth age of car design, but designers are hesitant because of the fear of doing things differently,” said Bangle.


“This car is, for me, the demonstration that we can have something that is extremely emotional with immediate appeal, and at the same time highly functional and intellectually engaging.”


The complete form of the car reveals a unique figure-eight silhouette, huge side windows, and Cartesian doors that open on a wide internal space.


Slightly longer than a Smart Fortwo, but with a smaller turning radius, it can seat four adults when moving and five when stopped; it has space for one or two suitcases depending on configuration, and has a rotatable driver’s seat even with the doors closed. CBA claims it has been engineered to have best-in-class 0-50 km/h acceleration


When parked it becomes a multi-functional, interconnected working space (helped by a drop down table in development); the quiet venue for a meeting or a presentation; or a place to truly relax while enjoying a film with friends on its 17 inch screen, said CBA.


“We’ve created a new design language that is at once friendly and immediate, but at the same time subtle, ambiguous, and textually layered. This gives RedSpace character, the kind you will enjoy looking at for many years,” added Bangle.


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