Two New Honda Concepts Unveiled At Tokyo Motor Show
6th November, 2007
Two new Honda concept cars made their world premieres at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show last month.
The Honda CR-Z (pictured opposite) is a light-weight, two-seater sports car equipped with Honda’s petrol-electric hybrid IMA powertrain. Honda are retaining the petrol-electric, even though many see this technology as a wasted opportunity. The Next Car team is keen to see hybrid cars embrace the more acceptable diesel-electric powertrain which is just as easy to develop.
PUYO is a fuel cell vehicle designed to provide fun for both the driver and his or her surroundings.
Following in the tyre prints of the Honda Remix Concept (seen at Los Angeles Motor Show last year) and the Small Hybrid Sports Concept (debuted at Geneva Motor Show in March), the CR-Z Concept explores the potential of a compact, light-weight sports car that’s exciting to drive, but has a reduced impact on the environment when compared to a non-diesel powered car.
The CR-Z features the latest Honda hybrid IMA powertrain to deliver lower emissions and impressive economy than a petrol engined car.
The front of the car sits low and is dominated by an imposing, large bumper with gaping air intakes. Meanwhile, the smooth lines across the glass roof and rear of the car minimise drag.
Tube shaped combination lamps at the rear improve rearward visibility and other design details include stylish, high-visibility exterior mirrors, LED headlights, fin-shaped sidelights and large 19-inch wheels to enhance the sporty appearance.
Inside, the aim was to give the concept car a light, spacious and sophisticated feel. The CR-Z’s hi-tech interior features a blue, neon-like finish across the main dash and centre console. Mesh material on a simple framework is used throughout, with sporty seats to help support the driver during cornering.
According to the Japanese design team, CR-Z stands for Compact Renaissance - Zero.
PUYO is a Japanese word that embodies the tactile traits of this unique car. PUYO is meant to convey all that is warm and friendly, and put a smile on the face of users and pedestrians.
This concept car has a ‘gel body’ made of soft materials that enhance the ‘real world’ safety properties of the vehicle. Lights beneath the body shine through the gel, to help highlight doors and other manual functions, and notify users of the vehicle’s condition.
PUYO represents a new idea in mobility that brings together the principals of clean, safe and fun all into one environmentally-responsible, people-friendly, yet minimalist design. The concept has a small frame, is ultra-efficient and is powered by hydrogen fuel cell technology.
One of the key goals of the project was to provide a cornerless car that was kind to both people and the environment. The ‘Seamless Soft Box’ is welcoming and inviting to look at, but also makes the most of the box-shaped design’s spaciousness, managing to accommodate four people within its tiny frame.
Developed to have a ‘silky feel’, the PUYO’s interior is designed to be inviting and provide a people-friendly cabin with a feeling of space emphasised by transparent materials. Features include an instrument panel monitor, elastic-like controls made from cloth that rise up when the vehicle starts and luminous fluid level displays.
The obvious omission is the steering wheel, which is replaced by a joystick, used for operation and manoeuvring.
Holding its own in another corner of the Tokyo Motor Show stand was the all-new Japanese Fit, which is now on sale in Japan. Since it was first introduced in 2001, the Fit has sold two million units.
The new Fit will form the basis for the new Jazz, which will be launched in Australia in late 2008.
In addition, a ‘Next Energy’ display showcased Honda’s latest initiatives in new energy development, including technology for producing bio-ethanol from rice straw and environmentally-responsible, next-generation thin-film solar cells, which will soon go on sale nationwide in Japan.
Elsewhere on the stand, Honda displayed a range of current production cars as well as more advanced environmental technologies. To reflect Honda’s motor sport heritage, the latest Formula 1 car and other racing machines were shown.
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