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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Design: Why I Love the Tokyo Motor Show

These days most automotive design "concept" or "show" cars are thinly veiled future production models or trial balloons for same. The Tokyo show can be relied on to show off pure expressions of design unfettered by any attempt at production reality. I already posted on Mazda's lovely Taiki concept but here are two off-the-wall Suzukis that illustrate my point. First up is the Sustainable Mobility concept which looks like a leftover vehicle from the first Star Wars movie.

Note the ever-popular Tokyo theme of matching front and rear for those not sure where they are going. Another popular motif over the years at Tokyo is pairing vehicles together so Sustainable Mobility (trips off the tongue doesn't it) regurgitates it's passenger in a little four-wheeled one seat capsule. Unless that's the back and it's crapping the passenger out. The dainty wheel shields are a neat feature, resembling white shirt buttons. is there a practical application here? Only for Rascal riding invalids and filmmakers looking to re-do Logan's Run.

Even cooler is the X-HEAD concept, a name that brings to mind the part of the video store that you have to walk through beads to get to. Again, we have two vehicles mated together but this time the smaller conveyance is a cool motorcycle.

Autoblog describes it as "Tonka-like" and that's exactly right. The upright cab, blunt front end and industrial detailing all give a tough no-nonsense appearence that would play well in the United States. The tall detailed wheels and bulldog-like stance are very appealing. There are a lot of clever touches and ideas here but it's very unlikely to make production -- which is a shame.

Click here for hi-res pics of the X-HEAD, including the cool interior.

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