2010 mindset I review and pictures

Posted on Tuesday, 30 March 2010 , 08:03:04 byVeronica

Filed under Specialty MarquesElectric VehicleHybrid

mindset I

Light, powerful and efficient, Mindset comes with a smoothly profiled front end, in order to reduce its air intakes, a new rear end, which terminates in a sharp ridge profile, and a set of slim wheels to complete the areodynamic concept.
Based on an electric motor with a power of 70 kW and 220 Nm, it can accelerate from 0-100 km (0-60 mph) in 7 seconds, while reaching an electronically top speed of 140 km/h.
The interior has a 2+2-seater configuration.

Neither a city car, nor an SUV or a sports car. mindset is as unique as it is self-explanatory: a light, powerful and efficient commuter for those day-to-day journeys. Its high heels (i.e. its large, slim wheels) take the aerodynamic coupe body up to eye level with the main traffic. Whether alone, or in company, with babies and bags, cats and dogs - you can get in and out easily and keep an eye on what's going on whilst moving on swiftly and pleasantly. Its calm appearance projects power without aggression. That's what mindset understand by a contemporary hybrid automobile.


A city car doesn't need to break any speed records. What is of greater day-to-day importance is its utility. Streamlined bodywork does, however, increase the vehicle's efficiency and produces a faster, smoother and more economic ride.

Aerodynamics has a lot less to do with flying wedge shapes and sweeping rear wings than most people think - rather it's more about skillfull optimisation of the bodywork. The front end of the mindset is smoothly profiled, so its air intakes can be considerably reduced - no surprise, really, since an electric motor doesn't need an outsize radiator grille.

The rear end is strongly tapered and terminates in a sharp ridge profile. An optimized, almost-fully enclosed underside finishes off the shape. The slim wheels - which at the rear are offset from the body - complete the areodynamic concept.


`Commuters' were those luxurious wooden power boats with fully-enclosed cabins that became popular in the United States in the 1920s. For those who would rather live in the Hamptons than in downtown New York, these boats offered a quick, comfortable and stylish means of shuttling between riverbank home and Manhattan island. With their contemporary city-Commuter for everday driving, mindset are giving new currency to the Commuter concept.


The long, stretched-out coupe shape of the mindset strongly evokes the Italian „Berlinetta" design from the 1950s. Typical sportscar bodywork brings together emotion and efficiency. It is the quintessence of an automobile, and also exactly what mindset wants to come to represent.

Modern sports cars are, however, uncomfortably low-slung, focussing more on mechanics than the motorist. They're simply not cut out for everday driving.

Murat Günak, mindset's chief designer, has translated the coupe shape into a vehicle fit for everday use. The long bonnet blends with the steep windscreen. The flowing rear end conceals a boot with generous stowage space, and the high-profile wheels put the bodywork at the level of the main traffic. This is the particular concept that Murat Günak calls the ‚Commuter'.

The unmistakable quality of the mindset becomes apparent when it is brought into comparison with other cars of its class and size: it is powerful, but never aggressive - exactly as mindset imagined the design of a contemporary Commuter would be.

Electric Vehicle

An electric vehicle is powered by an electric motor which is supplied in turn by batteries. As long as cars have been around, there have been electric vehicles. The famous Jamais Contente, for example - which in 1889 became the first vehicle to break the 100 km/h barrier - was an electric vehicle. You would have to wait another three years before you could say the same thing about a vehicle with a combustion engine. No wonder then, that by the year 1910 a good third of all the cars in the United States were electric models. Even today, famed talk-show host Jay Leno still enthusiastically drives a 1909 Baker Electric.

Nowadays, in many cities, electric vehicles - which produce zero emissions locally - are the only means for getting around transport restrictions. Also no wonder that in many countries the purchase and maintenance of these vehicles is subsidised by the government.

Electric Motor

Electric motors are ideal power sources for automobiles. Their level of efficiency - three times better than a good Diesel motor - provides an optimal use of energy, and their long lifespan, combined with considerably-diminished maintenance costs, represents an additional payback on the initial investment. However, electric motors are most convincing when looked at from their power delivery characteristics. Thanks to the high, uninterrrupted torque they produce, the entire power band is always available to the driver. And this power is delivered smoothly and vibration-free - just like in an Inter City Express train. And since electric motors are locally emission-free, this can only be another factor deciding in their favour - and not just for the driver and passengers, but for the environment, too.


The CO2 output of an adult human is around 1500 grams a day. The mindset's is zero - at least locally. But let's be typically, pragmatically Swiss about this: electricity has, of course, to be generated and transported. That doesn't just use up energy - it also produces emissions. Taken in total, the best-case output of the mindset - where electricity is generated by hydroelectric power - is of the order of one gram. If you take the UTCE figure - an average value for electricity produced across Europe from various sources - then the mindset's output is only 55 grams. With the Range Extender hooked up, this value is still only 70 grams - a record low value for a vehicle of its size and power output. And when the solar collector is used, it's as clear as day that the emissions drop to zero.

Ride Quality

The mindset is, as regards performance, in a class of its own. It's not just its individual characteristics, but rather the combination of them, that produces such a one-off. The 70kW motor sits well in the lightweight vehicle. The acceleration - 0-100 km (0-60 mph) in 7 seconds - already promises great driving pleasure, and even more impressive is the perception of performance, since the entire torque band is more-or-less continuously at your disposal. The mindset's top speed - electronically limited to 140 km/h - is reached rapidly, and that this limit presents no drawback for everday use is witnessed by the fact that these days very few stretches of German Autobahn allow you to drive at a higher speed. The rest of Europe has long had limits in place and will soon be under electronic surveillance. Responsibly sporty - that's mindest's idea of the performance of the contemporary Commuter.

High (W)heels

Small, narrow wheels may have economic and technological advantages, but they also furnish little in the way of ride quality. Large, wide wheels may be ideal on racetracks and in the desert, but they leave much to be desired on the open road.

For the optimal combination of ride quality, driving enjoyment and economy, mindset equips the car with wheels that are 22 inches in diameter and not over-wide. However, these aren't a new invention: over seventy years ago Tazio Nuvolari screamed across the finishing line at well over 300 km/h in the winning car, his Auto Union type C, on wheels with very similar dimensions. So why do we call them High W(H)eels? Because they not only give the mindset its unmistakable character, but they also let it glide through the traffic with an air of poise and elegance - like a lady on high heels, in fact.


The word ‚hybrid' comes originally from the Ancient Greek and means mixture or combination. Typically, in a hybrid vehicle, a combustion engine is combined with an electric motor. That does sound futuristic, but in 1899, Ferdinand Porsche had already built a hybrid for Lohner that he entered successfully in races.

The Lohner was purely electric-driven; the permanently-running combustion engine generated the necessary electricity. We call this sytem today a ‚serial hybrid'. It provides superior steering and optimal energy use, but it also, unfortunately, continually produces CO2 emissions.

Today, various manufacturers offer hybrid vehicles. In these, the electric motor serves mostly to supplement the combustion engine, which serves as the main power source and also simultaneously recharges the batteries. This system is known as a ‚parallel hybrid'. Even though it brings advantages to city driving, the environment-saving pure-electric drive is largely incidental.

In the latest generation of hybrid vehicles, the batteries can be recharged via normal domestic power points. Because of this, these systems are also known as ‚plug-in' hybrids. They provide emission-free driving as long as the batteries remain charged.

At mindset, hybrid means the combination of all these advantages. As a ‚plug-in' hybrid, the mindset's batteries can be recharged in a matter of hours from a domestic wall socket. In pure electric mode, therefore, it has a range of around 100 km - completely emission-free. And as a serial hybrid the mindset can use, if required, an economical combustion engine to charge the batteries. And with the inbuilt Range Extender, journeys of over 800 km without re-fuelling stops are, therefore, possible.


The mindset has been designed as a 2+2-seater. The front bench seat provides plenty of room for both driver and front passenger. An additional, slender benchseat can be installed in the rear. Or you can adjust and use the available free space for loading needs, be it for kids, dogs or sporting equipment. In either case, there's enough room available for passengers' everyday luggage or storage requirements. The boot can be accessed via the side-mounted hinged panels, which have been laid out asymmetrically: on the driver's side there's a small panel for bags or coats, on the front passenger's side a larger one for bigger suitcases.

There are many possibilities for charging the mindset's batteries. The easiest is simply to leave it plugged in to a wall socket for a couple of hours. If that isn't possible, the optional Range Extender can be connected. Or you can simply park the mindset in the sun - charging will then take longer, but it's completely free and, above all, good for the environment. Or you can just drive downhill, or even brake: with recovery technology, you can get up to 90% of the deceleration energy back.


There are many possibilities for charging the mindset's batteries. The easiest is simply to leave it plugged in to a wall socket for a couple of hours. If that isn't possible, the optional Range Extender can be connected. Or you can simply park the mindset in the sun - charging will then take longer, but it's completely free and, above all, good for the environment. Or you can just drive downhill, or even brake: with recovery technology, you can get up to 90% of the deceleration energy back.

Lightweight Construction

Formula-1 guru John Cooper, Lotus founder Colin Chapman and the designer of the Mini, Sir Alec Issigonis all knew: when it comes to building racing machines, lightweight construction is the deciding factor. Because low weight means a faster, better, more efficient ride.

At mindset lightweight construction is a philosophy. It begins with structural optimization through the use of high-grade materials, develops through a reduction in superfluous fixtures and ends with a lightweight, thought-through design.

Modern automotive construction is going round in circles: more bulk, more fixtures and fittings and the consequently higher power output needed all lead to ever more weight. Increased weight doesn't just cost money - it also demands ever more resources. In short: heavy cars are yesterday's cars.

Lithium-Ion Battery

This tried-and-tested technology has finally reached the stage where it is ready for use in automotive construction. Rechargable lithium-ion batteries stand out by virtue of their extremely high energy output-to-weight ratio. And on top of that, Li-Ion batteries are free from deleterious effects like the ‚Memory Effect' and sudden spontaneous loss of charge.

At the heart of mindset lies a special Li-Ion battery. Thanks to the latest cell-construction technologies and electronic diagnostic monitoring, their reliability over their service lifetime is guaranteed.


The mindset is targeting European metropolitan areas, where it has the greatest potential to work its charms.

In due time the mindset will be available in Switzerland, Germany, France and the Netherlands.

At a later stage, we will extend our distribution network to other European countries, including England, Italy, Austria, and Spain.


mindset is noticing a pleasantly high number of enquiries from prospective purchasers. However, it is still too early to give an indication concerning final purchase price and delivery date.

The mindset team is pulling out all the stops for a market introduction towards the end of 2009 and a serious production start early in 2010. The price will be comparable to that of a well-equipped mid-size car from a premium brand.

Cometh the hour, cometh the mindset!

Range Extender

With the optional Range Extender, the mindset becomes a hybrid vehicle at the flick of a switch. Whether you keep the compact petrol engine permanently on board, stow it in the garage when not in use, or even just want to rent one for the weekend, installing and demounting the Range Extender in the boot is simplicity itself. It also has no appreciable effect on performance. As an electricity generator, it simply serves to recharge the batteries, and extends the driving range of the mindset by many hundreds of kilometers - and all with just one tankfull of petrol. Even though, in hybrid mode, the mindset can't be driven entirely emission-free, through the Range Extender it still consumes only minimal amounts of energy and produces minimal emissions.


‚Recuperation' is the term that mindset uses for ‚winning back' energy (indeed, that's the literal meaning of ‚recuperate' in the original Latin - recuperare). For example, since 1952, the Swiss mountain railways have used this very principle. In electric vehicles, recuperation makes sense and adds to the fun. Instead of standard mechanical braking (whereby kinetic energy is converted into unusable heat) through recuperation the car can be decelerated or even brought to a complete halt, and the required braking energy can be simultaneously recovered and stored in the battery. So you get not only a reduced electricity consumption with an increased driving range, but also a whole new driving paradigm is being established! And even the ‚late brakers' among you can drive with a clear conscience.

Wall Socket

Simply plug into a wall socket - and wall sockets can be found practically everywhere - and within a matter of hours the battery will be fully-charged again - it couldn't be easier. It also couldn't be cheaper, since a dozen kilowatt-hours at the price of an espresso will deliver around 100 kilometers of driving. And it could hardly be environmentally friendlier: even if the power isn't from hydroelectric sources, the overall eco-balance of the mindset stays firmly in the green. And that means considerably lower than the average automobile of today.

Bench Seat

People are spending ever-more time in their cars, while, at the same time, the average driving speed sinks ever lower. Nowadays, in the big European cities, it's somewhere around 30 km/h. So why buckle yourself into a racing seat, when you could be comfortably stretched out on the sofa - just like at home? With this image in mind we conceived the mindset's bench seat. So it not only offers two people a lot of room, it also gives them the freedom to properly enjoy it. Whether the passangers want to be budged up together, or keep their distance, whether they want to get in and out on either the left- or the right-hand side, the bench seat affords every opportunity. Thanks to high-quality materials, the bench seat is not only decidedly inviting, but it can also, of course, be kitted out with accessories to suit your tastes and needs. Headrests, safety belts, and driver and passenger airbags are, naturally, included in the base specification.

Solar Collector

The sun provides around 1000 watts of energy per square meter. With the advances in today's photovoltaic technology 16% of that energy - when the weather conditions are right - can be converted into stored electricity in the batteries. The mindset's glass roof can be laminated with a transparent skin of solar panels and thus be converted into a solar power station. And that provides even more kilometers of driving enjoyment daily. And after a few more days in the open air, the batteries will have completely recharged themselves.

The guiding principles of classic automobile construction still hold true today: Lightness - in every sense of the word - is attractive. An elephant, for all its majesty, is never going to be considered elegant. Light, slim and spacious and with a pure aesthetic: that's how mindset sees the contemporary Commuter.


The spaceframe was first developed around 1900 for use in aircraft construction, and was later carried over into racing vehicles. By spaceframe we mean a framework constructed either from steel tubing or profiles, and which forms the main load-bearing structure of the car. The skin used to envelop this framework can be extremely light, since it itself has no load-bearing requirements. Modern racing and super sportscars have a spaceframe made from aluminium or high-performance composite materials. From a structural standpoint, the spaceframe provides low body weight and an unsurpassed stiffness and reliability.

A so-called hybrid spaceframe forms the load-bearing elements in the mindset. The base framework consists of welded aluminium profiles in conjunction with a lightweight roof construction. Thanks to the visual lightness that this combination provides, the occupants of the mindset get to enjoy panoramic views. And of course, the entire structural framework of the car has been designed as a safety cage for the passengers.

Tech Specs

Although the mindset is still in the development phase, we have some technical figures set already as our goals.

The charming commuter-coupe comes as a 2+2 seater and combines the following technical specs:

length: 4260 mm
unloaded weight: ~800 kg (with Range Extender ~900 kg)
electric motor: 70 kW, 220 Nm
Range Extender: 17 kW
top speed: 140 km/h (electronically limited)
acceleration: 0-100 km/h in ~7 sec.
range electric: 100-200 km, according to the driving style, ECE combined 180 km
range with Range Extender: more than 800 km
CO2 emission electric: 0 g/km ( local ); 1-59 g/km (according to power plant)
CO2 emission with Range Extender: max. 79 g/km

All information is valid as of November 2008.

Running Costs

Mindset brings the running costs down. In electric mode, for the price of an espresso, it will deliver around 100 kilometers of driving. With the Range Extender in service, the running cost at a constant 120 km/h over a hundred kilometers is under 4 liters. And that's before you take into account the power provided by the solar collector.

Zev Vehicles

Zero emission vehicles are those that operate emission-free locally, i.e. without producing any environmentally-damaging by-products. In many cities - for example London and Milan - special exemptions are already in place for ZEVs, either so that they can freely travel into and out of congestion-charging zones, or that they are exempt from any prevailing Eco-taxes. Indeed, in many countries, the purchase and maintenance of ZEVs is subsidised by the government. The mindset is a ZEV when running under battery power - as betokened by the green light on its tailfin - a small reminder that the driver is someone forward-thinking.