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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Design: Yet More Tokyo Madness

I know some readers have been impatient with my exploration of the outer reaches of automotive design but seriously, step off. The confluence of art and engineering that goes into planning something that is both useful and inspirational makes automotive design on par with architecture as one of the great pursuits of our age. So there. Now on to utter wackiness.

First up, Nissan presents the doltishly named Round Box, a "Youth-Oriented Compact Convertible" that includes "'road surface windows,' small glass panels placed close to the ground on both sides of the car, providing passengers with a view of the rapidly passing road surface, without the risk of road contact." Wouldn't want that risk of road contact now would we?

The design is rather unorthodox but pleasing with the exception of the Dirt Devilish mouth up front that seems like something Peugeot might do of late. Nice tone of red as well.

Then we have Toyota's Hi -CT concept, which features a "removable rear trunk and a deck where surfboards, bicycles and other equipment can be loaded." The look? Demon spawn of a Peterbilt truck cab and a golf cart.

Finally Toyota also graces us with a slice of nature loving madness with the RiN concept. Essentially a motorized gazebo, RiN is intended to nurture the wellness of it's occupants as well as those around it, or as Toyota says:

"Through their relationship to the vehicle, drivers are encouraged to reevaluate themselves and, furthermore, to turn their attention to society and nature, producing a healthy rhythm for both mind and body."

Groovy. Grok on this fellow harmonisers -- RiN features "...seats that help maintain good back posture and image displays aligned with the driver's psychological state that are conveyed within the meter cluster of the "mood-training" steering control."

Dig the funky leaf pattern running up the trellis -- er pillars and continued in the front and rear lighting elements. Inside the leaf pattern is repeated with leaf-shaped pedals (should that be petals?). The central console looks like a big blob of water and yes indeed...that's some kind of astroturf in place of carpeting.

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