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Weird, Wild and Wacky Concept Cars – Maybe

It’s a pity that the Tokyo Motor Show only comes around every two years.  This is because this particular motor show is famous – or should that be notorious – for revealing some rather unusual concept cars.  Yes, the world also gets to see some great new developments from the top Japanese manufacturers and designers, but we also love looking at and laughing at some of the downright crazy ideas that some designers come up with.

Mind you, are they that crazy? After all, speculation, imagination, exploring the limits of what’s possible and trying new things is how new technologies are invented.  However, some ideas are crazier than others.  Take the following offerings from the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show.

Just to get us all thinking, each of these concepts showcased here gets a craziness rating out of ten and a final verdict:

Nissan Teatro for Dayz: 

tokyo-motor-show-2015-concept-cars nissan teatro

Most of the interior, including the display panels, the interior lighting, the headrests and more can be customised via a smartphone app.  It’s got built-in ability to take selfies.  What happens when several passengers inside the car have the same app isn’t clear.  It could also be vulnerable to hackers.

Craziness rating: 7/10

Verdict: Why not?  It’s not that different from changing the playlist being streamed on the audio, really.

Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo

tokyo-motor-show-2015-concept-cars Nissan GTurismo

It looks like something a 13-year-old would doodle on the inside of a maths book, to pinch a brilliant phrase from Jeremy Clarkson.  This is probably because it’s going to be driven at very high speeds by 13-year-old boys.  Don’t panic: it’s only going to be driven virtually.  This concept car is actually designed for the Grand Turismo 6 computer game.

Craziness rating: 4/10

Verdict: Almost a caricature of what a street racer or performance car should look like, so not really pushing the envelope.  Not my cup of tea but if the rumours that it will inspire the styling of future sporting Nissans are true, it will be popular.

Honda Wander Stand

tokyo-motor-show-2015-concept-cars wander

Shown in the picture alongside the more practical Honda Wander Walker scooter, the Wander Stand is a sort of box that fits two people and can move in eight directions (forward and back, left and right, and all four diagonals).

Craziness rating: 7/10

Verdict: There’s an older invention that works just as well most of the time, known as “feet”.

Toyota Kikai

toyota-kikai-concept-2015

If the front end isn’t bizarre enough, just wait until you see the back of this dune buggy: it’s backside is naked, revealing the engine.

Craziness rating: 8/10

Verdict: The styling alone gets it a high craziness rating.  And is this dune buggy actually supposed to be driven with a naked engine on actual real sand?

Suzuki Mighty Deck

Suzuki-Mighty-Deck

The name’s bigger than the vehicle.  This could be described as the mongrel offspring of a Mini and a single-cab ute.  It’s teeny (and looks like a Mini Cooper at the front) but it has an open deck out the back. If you’re asking why, it’s because vans, trucks, utes and similar commercial vehicles get a tax break in Japan, even if they’re miniature.

Craziness rating: 5/10

Verdict: The idea of a teeny weeny ute that might just be able to fit a lamb or a Labrador is ludicrous to the typical Aussie mind (especially if you’re a rural type) but if it’s done to make the most of a tax loophole, that’s actually quite sensible.  It has a certain cute factor but I won’t be buying one.

Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo

tokyo-motor-show-2015-concept-cars MB Vis T

It’s self-driving.  It looks like a prop from a sci-fi movie (mind you, so do plenty of other concept cars). The seating is more like a couch where the passengers (there is no driver) face each other and the steering wheel (should you want one) retracts or pops out.  Maps and the like are projected in the middle of the cabin as holograms.

Craziness rating: 9/10

Verdict: Where’s the lightsabre storage compartment and the teleporter?

Daihatsu Noriori

daihatsu-noriori-concept-tokyo-joshua-dowling-2015-wide

The name seems to be a blend of two dwarves from Tolkien’s The Hobbit, but this actually is quite a good idea. The point of the Noriori is that you can get wheelchairs and prams into it very easily, then lock them in place.

Craziness rating: 4/10

Verdict: Could be some issues with seatbelt compliance regulations but a nice thought.

Toyoda Gosei Flesby

flesby

It’s soft and squashy, meaning that if you hit a pedestrian, he/she won’t be hurt (much), at least not if you’re travelling at low speeds.  It’s steered via joysticks, and can customise the lighting, scent and posture depending on the driver’s mood… which it senses.

Craziness rating: 7/10

Verdict: I wanted to give this a higher craziness rating because the idea of a squishy soft car steered by joysticks that picks out a scent to suit what it thinks is your mood is so quirky.  However, developing materials to enhance pedestrian safety isn’t that wacky, so I knocked off a couple of points on those grounds.

Now, here’s hoping that in 30 years’ time, people don’t look at this post and shake their heads at our lack of foresight because we thought some of these ideas were crazy…

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