Suzuki's tandem two-seater Q-concept micro car
By Mike Hanlon
November 11, 2011
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.