What's Wrong With This Picture: Smaller, Lighter, Weirder, Suzukier Edition

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

The Tokyo Auto Show is coming, which means it’s time for Japan’s automakers to roll out their weirdest, quirkiest, most Japanese designs. An electric city car apparently inspired by a CD player? Check. A 1,600 lb, super-efficient compact? Actually, the Regina Concept (above) almost looks more French than Japanese to my eyes. Finally, the Swift EV Hybrid rounds out Suzuki’s Tokyo-bound lineup. What does it all say about Suzuki’s future? One theory is that here may be an electrified Swift on the market at some point. Another holds that in the future, humans will be replaced by compact discs.

To be perfectly honest, as with so many Japanese cultural artifacts and phenomena, I’m completely baffled. Luckily our East-West relations expert Bertel Schmitt will be on hand at the Tokyo Auto Show to help us figure it all out.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Advo Advo on Nov 09, 2011

    I'd like to see an actual 3D mockup of the Regina. It has potential as a cute car that certain market segments would go for in Europe and Asia. The angle of the green paint at the bottom may look better if it was less steep. I think it would look better if it went from the same height at the rear to the height of the wheel axle (mid-wheel height) just behind the front wheels.

  • 406driver 406driver on Nov 10, 2011

    A strange love-child from an affair between Citroen and Chevrolet. Can't be inspired by the Citroen Ami 6, though, as that car has backward sloping rear glass. It is a straight rip-off of the original DS at (the rear). The front is straight off a Corvair.

  • Lou_BC Mr. Posky outraged over an old guy passing er releasing some gas. How are those sedan sales going?
  • Theflyersfan There's still the serious lingering doubt or fear about sinking so much money into an electric VW, a company notorious for having epic gremlins in that area. Honestly, I want to see long-term, at least 80,000 miles, examples and how they held up. Maybe then.
  • Lorenzo They were willing to go against their customers' preferences to satisfy government, but now that they see it doesn't pencil out, they change their tune. Now is the time to tell 'em what we really want.
  • Tassos Generally I prefer that exploited labor remain domestic like in the service and trade industries. Given the complex and global integration of supply chains and materials sourcing I accept that most manufacturing must be managed by foreign 'kapos'.
  • Lorenzo 1 million barrels is 42 million gallons. The country uses 368 million gallons a DAY. The reserve was set aside after Hurricane Sandy caused a gasoline shortage for emergency vehicles. The hurricane season starts on June 1 and is predicted to be active. Nice going.