SUZUKI unveiled two off-the-wall concepts at the Tokyo motor show this week, including the driverless symmetrical pod on wheels it calls Hanare – the Japanese word for what most Australians would call a granny flat – and the Waku Sport, a plug-in hybrid coupe that transforms into a wagon at the touch of a button.
Also on the Suzuki stand was a near-production concept for the second-generation Hustler Kei-car crossover and a mobile parents’ room for outdoor events and disaster evacuation shelters based on the Every compact van.
Shorter but wider than the APV budget van that was sold by Suzuki in Australia until early last year, the Hanare features a single, full-width gullwing door that doubles as an awning when open.
A Level 5 autonomous vehicle with a complete lack of driving apparatus, the Hanare has a large and infinitely configurable interior space. Images provided by Suzuki suggest uses could include a mobile cinema, bicycle workshop or juice bar.
The Hanare runs on electricity, with drive coming from in-wheel motors that provide this externally symmetrical vehicle with extra manoeuvrability in packed, narrow urban laneways.
More conceivable in the near-term future is the retro-styled Waku Sport coupe-cum-wagon that Suzuki says “can be shared by three generations”.
A plug-in hybrid that is shorter and narrower than a Mazda MX-5, the pillarless Waku Sport’s second seating row is accessed via frameless front doors, with the aperture extended by the rearward-sliding back doors.
When folding body panels transition the Waku Sport from notchback-style coupe to wagon, the rear seats slide backward and recline to provide additional cabin space.
The dashboard also has a split personality, with a passenger-facing wood-look panel transforming into a full-width digital display when sport mode is engaged.
Much closer to production is a thinly veiled production-ready version of the second-generation Hustler crossover, adorned with butch-looking mud tyres and roof rack to go with the rugged Jeep-like style of its two-tone interior.
Also looking viable on the Suzuki stand was the Every Combi van, fitted with nappy-change facilities and roll-down shades for breastfeeding in peace, giving parents somewhere to care for their infants while at music festivals, outdoor markets, disaster evacuation shelters and possibly even international motor shows.