Rinspeed's Rebellious Retro Rocket - the Tatooo.com

An Act of Rebellion

Imagine you are in high school (if you aren't already). Your parents expect the best from you so you stick to the straight and narrow. You make the bed, get good grades and mow the lawn until one day you can't take it anymore and do something rebellious. Not something small, but something that will make your parent's hair stand on end. You get a tattoo. And not just any tattoo, but one with flames coming out of it that can be seen a mile away. Can't you just see the look on their faces? Feels great, doesn't it?

Now you know how a bunch of normally buttoned down Swiss auto engineers must feel when they unveiled their latest act of rebellion to the conservative European automotive community - the Tatooo.com. The Tatooo.com flies in the face of Europe's better known, reserved marques such as Mercedes, Audi and BMW.

Rinspeed Design created the Tatooo.com. Rinspeed is a small European car conversion and aftermarket manufacturing company located in Zumikon, Switzerland. Each year they bring a new creation to Geneva for the annual auto show.

Unveiled during this year's Geneva Motor Show, the Tatooo.com's nomenclature is a pun that 'combines the emotional, erotic appeal of human body art with the three zeros that have come to symbolize the new millennium.' It's the first vehicle ever with an Internet address for a name. The name is also a website for the vehicle.

Sophisticated Defiance

How much further away could you get from your father's S-class?

The Tatooo.com's looks lie in the traditional American hot rod. Its lines are reminiscent of the classic pickup trucks of the Fifties.

The front and rear fenders barely cover the extra-wide tires. The windshield and side windows are very low compared to contemporary production cars - just like a hot rod's.

The Tatooo.com's door handles have been replaced by a slick electromagnetic opening mechanism remotely controlled from a key fob.

The truck bed is free of attached parts and its tailgate has been reduced to a frame with a transparent and indestructible Lexan plate in the center sporting the Tatooo.com name.

Under the hood beats a modified version of the powerful aluminum 5.7-liter LS1 V8 engine found in the Chevrolet Corvette. The Rinspeed LS1 pounds out 403 horsepower and 409 ft-lb. of torque versus the Corvette's 345 horsepower and 350 ft.-lb. of torque.

The Tatooo.com does 0-60 mph in approximately 6 seconds and its top speed is over 150 mph.

Ultra wide and ultra low Continental SportContact tires in sizes 245/35 ZR 20 and 295/40 ZR 20 provide the necessary grip for the enormous torque. For mounting the tires, Italian wheel manufacturer OZ Racing created custom 20-inch rims.

An infinite number of suspension settings are available at the push of a button. This offers a couple of advantages. In addition to continuously adjustable ride firmness, the suspension permits adjustments in ride height, depending on terrain, speed or road conditions.

Still a Model Student

The interior of the Rinspeed Tatooo.com is quite contemporary, contrary to its composite exterior.

Burg Design is responsible for the Tatooo.com's seating and floor. The front bench seat is crafted in a combination of Imitation African mamba snake leather and woven beige Italian leather. The floor is terracotta-colored plastic and matches the natural tones of the seats.

Entertainment is provided by Sony. Sony's MiniDisc digital stereo system keeps the driver happy and a PlayStation game console keeps the passenger occupied.

The instrumentation is customized from the Chevrolet S-10 and GMC Sonoma twins. The dashboard has been plated with a chrome-like finish called SLC ("Surface Like Chrome") using a new technology developed by Durovib.

In the back of the Tatooo.com you will find 'B.O.B.', short for Breathing Observation Bubble. The B.O.B. is essentially an underwater scooter capable of transporting you up to 30 feet below the surface without any breathing apparatus.

If you don't like to travel underwater you can also choose an optional Ducati Monster 900 S motorcycle with matching Tatooo.com paint job and chrome details.

To easily move your B.O.B. or Duc into and out of the bed, the Tatooo.com also comes with Rinspeed's handy X-Tra-Lift. The X-Tra-Lift employs a dual-arm cantilever engineered to lift linearly without a center of gravity. A mechanical drive, located below the truck bed, swivels both arms back and forth in tandem, thus lifting or lowering the load platform in less than a minute. The X-Tra-Lift's electric motor is powered by the vehicle battery and can be controlled remotely. The system also incorporates all possible safety features, including an inclination angle limiter. The "X-Tra-Lift" was specifically integrated into the vehicle design. The tubular frame offers protection against rollover accidents and visually integrates the system into the vehicle body.

So next time you picture a buttoned down, by-the-book European remember the Rinspeed Tatooo.com and its rebellious group of Swiss engineers because regardless of their noncomformity the Tatooo.com is still fully street-legal and meets all current EU automotive regulations.

Source: Rinspeed Design

Rinspeed Tatooo.com Specifications

Engine family: Aluminum V8 Displacement: 5.7 liters
Cylinders: 8
Compression: 10.1:1
Power: 403hp @ 5800 rpm
Torque: 409 ft.-lb @ 4350 rpm
Gearbox: Borg Warner Manual Gears: 6

Length: 194.4 in.
Width: 75.1 in.
Height: 56.1 in.
Wheelbase: 118 in.
Ground clearance: 5.9 in.
Weight: 3659 lbs.

Top speed: app. 152 mph.
0-100 km/h: 5.3 sec

Chassis and Body:
Body: Composite
Seating capacity: 2

Brakes and Suspension:
Front brakes: 330 mm
Rear brakes: 305 mm
Front suspension: IFS/ pneumatic
Rear suspension: 4-link / pneumatic
Steering: R+P

Wheels and Tires:
Front tires: 235/35x20
Front wheels: 8.5 x 20"
Rear tires: 295/40 - 20
Rear wheels: 9.5 x 20"

Rinspeed Design