With exciting concept cars and fresh models arriving each season, it is certainly challenging for today’s carmakers to stay original and innovative. Even when students pursuing auto careers see an insanely original idea on a new vehicle, there are definitely parts of it that have been borrowed or improved on from pre-existing designs or models. It’s one of the drawbacks to such a sprawling and interconnected industry – everyone from the enthusiast to automotive technician is aware of emerging designs and technologies, which inevitably influence the next rounds of innovation. However, design master Joey Ruiter is looking to change that with his forward-thinking automotive offering, the J. Ruiter Reboot Buggy. So what exactly is this alleged game changer?
Ruiter has stated in interviews that he wanted this avant garde little buggy to be designed with the vehicle determining its design, as opposed to the hypothetical driver, like most cars are. For Ruiter, it’s all about getting back to the basics of what an automobile is –forgoing the conventions of the modern world where style and sleekness trump sensibility and use. “I’m personally becoming more and more frustrated with new automobiles,” he says on his website. “The fluff, the marketing, the gadgets, the knickknacks, and the do-dads are overwhelming. I want to go back to the drive. When the drive was enough.”
Ruiter says he has absolutely no problem ignoring the needs of the driver if it better serves the functionality of the vehicle, believing that car design has come to focus too much on looking pretty rather than serving a function.
Described as a horse and buggy without the horse, Ruiter’s Reboot Buggy takes everything back to the basics with a bare-bones design. He vowed to keep the design painfully simple, equipping the retro-futuristic buggy with a 470 horsepower small block V8 and a simple three-speed automatic transmission. The design is vehicle centric, meaning the wheel positioning and the placement of the engine are all dictated by what’s best for the vehicle, not the driver. This results in a much more efficient vehicle, and one that runs with performance and endurance in mind, not aesthetics.
Ruiter also believes in sticking to a simple engine design because of the ease of repair. He says that the buggy’s engine is so streamlined and simplistic that pretty much anyone with auto mechanic training would know how to repair it. It’s a breath of fresh air when you consider the many automakers who seem to make their engines overly complicated so that it’s almost maddening to make a repair.
While it may not be for everyone, this little buggy is turning heads because it’s essentially turned the entire automotive world upside down by bucking the curve and going for performance and durability before integrated features like iPhone connectivity or entertainment systems. So, let’s say kudos to Ruiter for putting the design and efficiency back in the world of automobiles. You can check out more on his project on his website or check out this great video: