Car News:  2011 Tokyo Auto Show

Tokyo Preview: Suzuki Concepts

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author photo by Jeffrey Archer November 2011

The Tokyo Auto Show is known for its wild and sometimes wacky concept cars, and this year Suzuki is certainly doing its part to continue that reputation. The automaker recently previewed two futuristic concepts ahead of the show, along with one more realistic plug-in hybrid that could see production in the near future.

The orange, spherical Q-Concept is undoubtedly Suzuki's most unusual concept car, and certainly among the most bizarre vehicles making an appearance in Tokyo. Officially described as a new form of transportation "positioned between motorcycles and cars," the concept features a circular passenger cabin, a total length of just 8.2 feet, and otherworldly styling with orange and white accents. Among the Q-Concept's most interesting features are a third seat that can be folded flat to provide cargo space, circular doors that open upwards, swiveling driver and passenger seats and fully enclosed wheels.

Suzuki will also be showing a bright green hatchback concept in Tokyo. Dubbed the Regina, the futuristic hatchback provides Suzuki's vision of the next global compact car. Tipping the scales at just 1,600 pounds, the Regina is around 10 percent more aerodynamic than the automaker's Swift hatchback, and includes an advanced interior with a touch-screen center stack that absorbs climate and navigation functions. Exterior styling includes two hidden rear doors, blocky headlights and cameras in place of traditional rear-view mirrors.

While the concept cars are certainly glamorous, the plug-in Swift EV Hybrid is much more likely to end up in dealerships. Although Suzuki hasn't released many details, the hatchback is based on the automaker's subcompact Swift, which is sold in many global markets outside the United States. Suzuki showed a similar model at the 2009 Tokyo show, dubbed the Swift plug-in concept, which featured a 54 kW electric motor capable of propelling the hatchback up to 12 miles on battery power alone, coupled with a tiny three-cylinder engine that served as a range extender. 

We'll be on hand to provide more information on Suzuki's concepts and the rest of the Tokyo Auto Show's lineup when the show officially opens to the press on November 30.

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Tokyo Preview: Suzuki Concepts - Autotrader