Every model year, automakers introduce vehicles that speak of visionary styling. That said, fashion trends are inherently self-defeating, effectively obsolete by the time of introduction. To continually develop the ‘next big thing’ before it becomes irrelevant, designers and engineers must think years (if not decades) ahead in order to retain market influence. In this sense, design faces the same threat as technology does, making cars the perfect representation of an industry propelled by multi-level innovation. But while new model year offerings run the risk of feeling immediately dated, concept cars allow us to accompany those designers and engineers ten proverbial steps down the line. Some will inevitably face delays and overhauls prior to commercial integration, while others might never be introduced at all. But some, like the Honda Urban EV, are already slated for production and introduction.
This makes it feel like the future is here. Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, these concept vehicles mirror the futuristic vehicles of film and television which inspired their creators in the first place. The paradoxical creations resemble something out of a comic book, or asian anime. With that in mind, it’s apropos that the best insights to futuristic trends comes from Tokyo.
Well, youtube channel ‘fullychargedshow’ wants to offer us a closer look courtesy of the 45th Biennial Tokyo Motor Show. If you’re interested here’s a captivating look at what Japanese and European drivers may expect to see in the years to come. Also, representative of advances in EV technologies, these are (quite literally) the ‘cars of tomorrow.’ Granted, these are (of course) concepts only, but the design philosophies shown seem like realistic continuations of so many that we see today.
So while such concepts may not see such aggressive introduction timelines here in the U.S., their futuristic images are intoxicating to so many U.S. drivers. In addition to Mitsubishi crossovers, Suzuki off-roaders, Nissan sedans, VW throwbacks and autonomous technologies (Part One of) this video features Mercedes-Benz limited editions. Combined, it presents some clear context as to what Honda is up against, in both the economy and aspirational price range.
Interested in more? Here’s Part Two, touching on mini and crossover-styled EV’s and the highest of Japanese-based luxury hybrids along with Toyota’s (slightly creepy) tech-centric iSeries offerings.
Part Three provides a closer look at the cutting-edge technologies which are being employed to enhance performance, safety and the overall passenger experience:
Here’s a look at (among other things) the Honda Urban EV concept, slated to go into production in 2019.
The fifth and final part of the series shifts attention to the advances in both bike and truck concepts featured at the Tokyo Auto Show.
While these five videos represent a commitment of time, they provide fascinating insights as to what we can expect to see coming down the road. While countless drivers will be resistant to these changes, the simple truth is that futuristic styling and self-driving vehicles are fast-approaching integration. From delivery vehicles to public transport, commercial avenues may provide first contact for many of us, but an introduction is right around the corner.
Are you ready for it? We’d love to know your thoughts on both concept styling, and the changes in technology to come.