The Rinspeed Presto transforms itself in a few seconds from a two-seater roadster into a 3.7-meter long four-seater with plenty of room for the rear-seat passengers. The additional space can also be used as a pick-up bed for cargo when the rear-seat backrests are folded down.
This almost magical transformation is made possible by a centrally located electric motor, which stretches the vehicle with the help of two mechanical screw-and-nut gears by exactly 746 millimeters to its full extended length of 3.74 meters. The longitudinal members run on low-friction precision rollers and disappear like a drawer in the rear of the floor pan. Despite its variable length the engineers succeeded in designing the adjustable Presto floor pan with the torsional rigidity necessary for a roadster. To ensure absolute operational safety the extension mechanism also features self-locking safety latches.
A four-cylinder, 1.7-liter common-rail turbo diesel engine in dual-fuel configuration, based on a Mercedes-Benz engine, provides future-oriented and highly environmentally friendly propulsion. The engine runs on a mixture of natural gas and Diesel fuel at a 40 to 60 ratio. Natural gas is a very clean-burning fuel, which consists almost entirely of methane with sulfur content near zero. However, since a Diesel engine has no spark plug to act as an ignition source, operation on natural gas alone is technically impossible.