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Suzuki's tandem two-seater Q-concept micro car


November 11, 2011

Suzuki's Q-Concept

Suzuki's Q-Concept

Image Gallery (11 images)

Suzuki's Q-Concept is a narrow-track, lightweight tandem two-seater, "positioned between conventional motorcycles and cars" according to the Japanese manufacturer. Two years ago at the last Tokyo Motor Show, we did a major article and video on narrow-track vehicles, forecasting that cars would get smaller and lighter, and the Q-Concept fits the bill perfectly.

Its 2.5-meter (8.2 ft) length and narrow width makes it more maneuverable, uses less energy, takes up less parking space and Suzuki envisages several configurations beyond the tandem two-seater, such as a two-child seat in the rear, or as a delivery vehicle with a cargo area behind.

If there's a car which the Q-Concept brings to mind with its appearance, it's the Renault Twizy Z.E. Electric vehicle, which is currently arriving at market in Europe. While the Q-Concept obviously carries the normal concept car glitz and technology levels, one of the many advantages of smaller vehicles is the cost.

Renault has two versions of the Twizy available, being the GBP 6,700 (US$10,600) Urban and GBP 7,400 (US$11,770) Technic, both with a monthly battery lease cost of GBP 40 and a 36 month/4,500 miles per year agreement.

Auto companies like to keep a few secrets up their sleeve for added wow factor at the unveiling of the vehicle at the press conference, and the above info is all that has been officially released.

From poring over the photos though, it's obvious that Suzuki intends to employ a dockable smartphone/key device similar to the Honda Smart Connect being used in Honda's concept cars. There's also rear view cameras which display on two small screens either side of the instrument console, and a heads-up display.

The Q-Concept will be just one of several new vehicles being shown by Suzuki at the Tokyo Motor Show next month, with the others being the Regina and Swift EV.

The Regina is believed to be a preview of Suzuki's next-generation global compact car, achieving low emissions by virtue of its extreme light weight (just 730 kg / 1,609 lb) and aerodynamic efficiency.

Suzuki reports the Regina has a drag coefficient at least 10 percent lower than that of current models and fuel economy of at least 32 km/L (75.2 mpg) on the JC08 test cycle and CO2 emissions as low as 70 g/km (New European Driving Cycle) using a petrol engine.

The Swift EV Hybrid is an electric vehicle with a gas-engine generator and can achieve 20−30 km (12.4 - 18.6 miles) in electric only mode.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon

Interesting concept, but having four wheels it would be considered a \"car\" for purposes of licensing and insurance. Reconfigured with three wheels, it would be considered a \"motorcycle trike\" in most jurisdictions, with cheaper licensing and insurance, and less strict safety and emissions regulations.

William Lanteigne

Rearch will show, since the 40\'s some people have always said that cars will become smaller. Strangely enough they keep getting bigger, more powerful and more complex. There is often a knee jerk response to gas spikes, but eventually cars get bigger. If and when something like bio diesel can be made cheaply, cars will grow in size overnight. To be honest I see a trend towards cars that are similar to mobile homes. With TV\'s, DVD players, comfy seats, oh wait that already exist. So I guess what is some sort of cooking area. I am saying a small fridge and microwave like they have in hotels.

Don\'t get me wrong I love small cars, It just isn\'t going to happen. Once a person gets married or dates someone with kids, they will want something bigger.

Michael Mantion

I\'m fine with the scale and functionality of Suzuki\'s two-seater Q-concept micro car, but the styling looks like a toy for a 4 year old! No guy\'s going to drive that--I got to believe that even women--who skew somewhat more cute--would find the styling just TOO--not even juvenile, but infantile.


I disagree with Suzuki\'s statement that this vehicle lies somewhere between a motorcycle and a car. It looks exactly like a \'mobility chair\', so there\'s little doubt that this would replace anyone\'s desire for a motorcycle now and in the future.


William H Lanteigne: That\'d also require drivers to get a motorcycle driver\'s license I presume (and thus learn to drive a motorcycle), which I think many people would be reluctant to do. Also, I don\'t think emissions regulations will be a problem for a city car like this anyway.

Michael Mantion: Compact cars are already quite common in Europe and Asia (and have been for a long time). Cars in North America have traditionally been bigger, for a number of reasons (gas prices are lower there, and cities are mostly suburban instead of urban, cultural differences). And in any case, cars like this are not meant for everyone, of course. But they are meant for a sizable and growing market segment.

yrag: I\'m a guy and I\'d merrily drive that. :) Also, I\'m pretty sure if it gets to production, colors other than orange/white will be available.


I think the Q-Concept is a really cool concept; IMO.

I think the second and third (Regina and Swift) could compete quite well with the Mini Cooper (just as cool but at a lower price?). :)

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