RedSpace REDS: A Private Electric Cocoon on Wheels
Okay, at first glance it might appear that much-talked-about Chris Bangle has gone off the deep end or worse, spent way too much time sucking in the polluted air that blankets much of China these day. Clearly the RedSpace REDs electric car is not what you'd expect from a former BWM car designer. It's boxy as hell. Even Chris admits it looks like something designed for a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon (actually I see Danae and Lucy from Non-Sequitur being more the inspiration).
In a world increasingly attuned to EVs being long, low, sleek and incredibly fast "supercars" - Tesla's new Roadster 2 is billed at 0-60 in 1.9 seconds and a top speed above 250 mph - REDS is at the totally opposite end of the spectrum. It might look cartoonishly amusing and the butt of endless jokes in countless languages, but in a world of 7.5 billion souls, 60 percent, headed to three-quarters, of the population crammed into megacities, Bangle and his funny little creation may have the last laugh. After all, where in London or Mumbai or Beijing can you drive at 250 mph, much less blast off at 8.8 seconds in the quarter mile?
No, most of the time car drivers spend their an increasing share of their waking hours siting in traffic, inching along at feet per minute, not miles per hour. Bangle recently explained the rationale for his design to The Verge:
"There has emerged this idea in China of a ‘fourth space.’ They say that there is the one space that is your home, the one that is your office and then a third space that is often noted as being the social space — like coffee shops. This is what Starbucks is trying to be. It's the space where you meet other people. The fourth space is 'your space' a place you configure for your needs and even share when you want. This is REDS"
In The Verge interview, Bangle doesn't reveal much about the car's performance: how far, how fast, how much. What he did discuss is what he calls the 90/10 ratio, where most of the design elements are focused on when the car in NOT moving, which is about 90 percent of the time. Actually, that makes sense when you think about it, especially if you're looking for a little privacy.
For lots more photos and discussion with Bangle, read The Verge article.
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