Suzuki prepares Kei car concept onslaught for Tokyo
The bi-annual Tokyo Motor Show is almost upon us, and the crazy concepts are already starting to appear. Suzuki has released images of its funky Kei car concepts ahead of the show, including a range of cute four-wheel drives and a mobile food truck.
Suzuki has a long history of creating rough, tough compact off-roaders capable of punching well above their weight, and the e-Survivor would suggest the company plans to keep that heritage alive in the future.
With a lightweight body and ladder-frame chassis, the concept is designed to evoke the spirit of the Jimny and Vitara, but it's powered by an electric four-wheel drive system for cleaner off-roading. Electric four-wheel drive systems offer a range of new possibilities for manufacturers, because the amount of torque being sent to each wheel can be so finely tuned on the fly. It'll be interesting to see how Suzuki interprets the technology.
They're not available in other countries, but Kei cars are a staple of Japanese cities. They have small engines and a tiny footprint, qualifying them for cheaper tax and insurance, but that doesn't mean they can't be fun. From the mid-engined S660 to high-riding vans, the breadth of cars that meet the regulations is truly staggering.
The Spacia and Spacia Custom concepts are two takes on the ever-popular compact van. The basic Spacia has a low floor and high roof, with sliding rear doors to make ingress and egress easier. Meanwhile, the Custom takes the same basic body and cranks up the drama with a giant chromed grille and slimline headlights.
The XBEE, or cross-bee, is Suzuki's take on the current city-SUV trend. With a wagon-style roofline and high-riding SUV suspension, it's been designed to pack lots of people and gear into a small package. There will be three variants on show in Tokyo: the XBEE, the XBEE Outdoor Adventure and the XBEE Street Adventure.
The former is finished in a yellow-and-black color scheme befitting a car with BEE in its name, while the Outdoor Adventure takes its inspiration from classic American wagons with wood paneling along its side. The Street Adventure takes a leaf out of the Citroen Cactus' book, with color-contrasting panels on the door and front end.
Carry Open-Air Market concept
Designed as a kind of pop-up food truck, the Open-Air Market concept is a versatile van for city streets. Suzuki says it has plenty of cabin space and "incorporates features that are on everyone's wish list." Our wish list included a bit more detail about the car, but it looks like we'll have to wait for the show for that.
The Tokyo Motor Show starts on October 25. Stay tuned for all the latest.