By Ulysses Ang
SUZUKI has been making strides in creating truly valuable automobiles and motorcycles that delight customers. As the Japanese car maker celebrates its 100th anniversary, they’ve used the 46th Tokyo Motor Show 2019 to show their initiatives in the development of products and technologies for opening up a “big future” towards the next 100 years.
One such example is the Waku Spo Concept, a car that carries two distinct personalities. Powered by a plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) powertrain, it switches from a coupe to a wagon at the whim of the driver. The secret is the concept car’s retractable rear section which folds down at the press of a button. When transformed into a wagon, the rear seats slide back and automatically recline giving a much roomier, comfortable cabin. Moreover, it has sliding rear doors that makes entry into the second row easier despite its two-door body style.
Along with the transforming body style, the Waku Spo Concept’s front fascia changes as well as the dashboard. In standard wagon mode, it has a simple virtual wood grain finish that displays only necessary information. In contrast, switching to the coupe Sport mode brings out a full-length monitor that displays a wider variety of information.
Another mobility concept is the Hanare, Suzuki’s take on future autonomous vehicles. Named after the Japanese word for detached cottage, the Hanare is basically a room on wheels. Swinging open the large side doors show off a wide variety of seating arrangements, all designed for enjoyment of the passengers. Furthermore, thanks to in-wheel motors and a completely symmetrical design, it eschews the concept of ‘front’ and ‘back.’ This helps it navigate through parking lots and other tight spaces easily.
Through this pair of concepts, Suzuki is not only showing the possibilities of future mobility, but also shows how everyone can move about more freely while still expressing his or her personality whether it’s with a car that transforms to suit one’s intended use, or one that changes from a private space to one that can accommodate family or friends.