Suzuki Kizashi 2, X-Head and PIXY: the lowdown
The Japanese car industry is enjoying the run-up to the Tokyo Motor Show at the end of this month, with a steady stream of new metal - and typically madcap concept cars in particular. Suzuki is the latest manufacturer to provide us with teaser shots of its wares. The Kizashi 2 (above left) is a further derivative of its Frankfurt concept for a future Mondeo rival. This one looks more like a coupe version, with a lower roofline and a smaller grille, and it's powered by a 3.6-litre V6 driving the just-for-show monstrous 22-inch alloys. While the Kizashi previews a future production car, Suzuki's other show cars are all about showing off.
The X-Head is a Tonka toy vehicle with looks chunky enough to qualify for a sci-fi film cast, while its interior seeks its inspiration from wetsuits, apparently. What's the point of it? It's designed to showcase Suzuki's knowledge of tough working vehicles, so imagine it pounding the beaches of Baywatch, rather than your child's sandpit. Take a deep breath, because Suzuki's next Tokyo treat is an especially crazy one.
The PIXY is a step up from a Segway - it's a mobility pod to transport one in upright, telephone booth style. Naturally, the PIXY is electric for zero emissions around town and its claimed range is 20 miles. If your battery runs out, there's a mother ship called the Suzuki Sharing Coach that can carry two PIXYs. It's easy to scoff at the more outrageous cars shown at Tokyo, but we have to remember the cultural backdrop. Japanese show-goers love to be wowed by far-out-there concepts and are less incredulous than some western observers. And even the maddest show cars often have a kernel of serious research within. Maybe it's the slightly mad, visionary concepts that have brought Japanese manufacturing to its position of engineering dominance today.