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Auto Show:  2011 Tokyo Auto Show

Suzuki Q-Concept - Tokyo Auto Show

author photo by Jeffrey Archer December 2011

Some of the most unusual concept cars are typically released at the biennial Tokyo Motor Show, and this year's event was no different. Among the most bizarre vehicles unveiled was Suzuki's diminutive Q-Concept, which features a circular passenger compartment, fully enclosed wheels and a futuristic two-passenger cockpit with tandem seating.

While nearly every aspect of the Q-Concept is odd, by far its most unusual feature is its exterior styling. Its circular passenger compartment features a similarly circular door, which swings upwards with the assistance of an electric motor. The concept's wheels are fully enclosed and wholly separate from the body, which is finished in orange and white, and one rear side includes a windowed panel that serves no apparent purpose

Things don't get any more traditional inside. Climbing in to the swiveling passenger seat, drivers are immediately faced with a circular white dashboard that includes a glass display for the speedometer and vehicle functions and an airplane-style steering wheel with two vertical stalks on each side that includes a space in the middle for syncing a smartphone. The sole passenger seat is located directly behind the driver's seat.

Naturally, the Q-Concept's powerplant is also unusual. Viewed by Suzuki as "an entirely new kind of mobility" positioned between motorcycles and cars, the bizarre two-seater features a fully-electric motor capable of propelling it just 15 miles between charges. While that means the Q-Concept could be ideal for city-dwelling drivers with short commutes, it wouldn't be a practical choice in the wide open lanes of the United States.

Of course, that's not a big problem for Suzuki, since the Q-Concept will surely never see production. To us, that's a shame, because while the Q-Concept is certainly an off-the-wall idea, it's also surprisingly endearing - and it serves as yet another reminder that the Tokyo Motor Show is among the most entertaining automotive events of the year.

What it means to you

While Suzuki is unlikely to build this car, it does show that new and innovative options for personal transportation might be just around the corner.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Suzuki Q-Concept - Tokyo Auto Show - Autotrader