Suzuki’s 2015 Mighty Deck Concept

….shows BMW how to do a modern interior with wood accents. Take a look at this interior, shown at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show.

2015 Suzuki Mighty Deck interior:

There is not much that’s “concept” about this, though that’s not to say it’s not both good and original. What I particularly like is the information strip around the base of the windscreen, the symmetry of the dashboard and the excellent wood deck on the top roll. I have in the past suggested Lancia could have had a future doing this kind of calm modernism.

Although the Mighty Deck has a different audience (and the concept is absurd in itself), the execution is a singular example of what calm modernism looks like, and is diametrically opposite to the fussy, busy “sportiness” of what Alfa Romeo, BMW and Mercedes offer. Isn’t it odd that it takes Suzuki to demonstrate the possibilities?

And now, here’s BMW´s attempt at modernity, which I can’t help feeling looks brittle and uncoordinated:

2014 BMW i3 interior:
2014 BMW i3 interior:

Why are car designers having such a hard time with simplicity?

2015 Suzuki Mighty Deck:

Here is the exterior of the Mighty Deck. Toyota made a bit of a meal of the “face” of the FS-R concept car. Suzuki have given their car an expression too but one which uses all of the front’s graphic and sculptural elements. I can’t find fault with this. I don’t suppose it has any more of a future than the lovely Regina concept of 2012.

2015 Suzuki Mighty Deck:

And this is the side profile. This is inspired. The lines are nearly parallel yet the car retains a strong sense of poise and purpose. Great colour as well. The b-c pillar shows how it can be done. This is design to make you fall in love with design all over again. I wish they’d put this effort into a production car. It’s not much fun thinking the actual cars won’t be quite such a pleasure to view. They are not bad but not super.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

6 thoughts on “Suzuki’s 2015 Mighty Deck Concept”

  1. I agree, lovely concept. Although you are being harsh on the i3 I think, which deserves points for incorporating wood in a contemporary way, and actually being in series production.

    It’s fashionable to mock wood trim in cars these days (Ian Callum seems to mock any Jaguar customers who tick this option on the order form), yet – done well – it can have a calming and soothing influence, which is a great thing when driving a car. Colour and texture have a definite impact on mood – a brown, ‘natural’ palette is less likely to provoke aggressive behaviour than the more fashionable metal and black (with red accents!).

    1. If it’s optional whose business is it what one chooses? The notion that decoration is wrong has roots in Adolf Loos’ idea that decortion was like tattoo markings on a body. As this was only seen on “primitives” and criminals, then tattoos were wrong and by false analogy so was anything decorative. See “Ornament and crime” from 1910. John Ruskin, further back, also hated ornament. He thought traders with ornate shop signage were wasting money. Today you can a shop sign printed on vinyl for £100 and see how bad it looks. Point? There are no logically argumemts against decoration, just assertions.

  2. Well, i am not a fan of wood in a car´s interior. Often it seems to be a foreign substance in a technical environment, especially those senseless plasticky wood-inlays.
    Here the wood gives the dash a touch of designer furniture – as if you are sitting in a modern livingroom.

    And i do not like all types of “Quartic wheels” – everybody was mocking the Austin Allegro for this stupid wheel.
    But here it is part of the whole design philosophy – well made, Suzuki.

    The exterior is not too bad too, but i like the areodynamic shape of the Suzuki Regina much better.

    1. The Suzuki here uses it better than a lot of other designs. I used to be against wood garnishes too. In recent years my view has changed. Why discriminate against wood in car but not alloy (metal is natural), glass, wool or cloth? My view is both very relativistic and seemingly conservative. In design there are few hard rules; why pick on wood? Or even
      “fake” wood? Make such things optional like paint and fabric and everyone goes away happy, no?
      The Regina was good, wasn’t it? It would have made a great grey-market car for Europe.

  3. Wood is fine if treated like other materials i.e. in a contemporary way, not in a attempt to replicate the look and feel of a gentleman’s club. Which is why fake wood is particularly loathsome.
    Renault managed that beautifully with the inlaid wood inserts in the VelSatis.

  4. I did go through a long anti-wood stage. My problems with wood were two – first it seemed old fashioned but, second, that it suggests splinters – ever since I read Unsafe At Any Speed, I’ve scanned car cabins for all those items that will flay, eviscerate, impale or otherwise seek to do me harm. But I’m more tolerant of timber today.

    Without being retro, there’s a pleasant reference to 50s bent wood furniture on the Suzuki. As for the rest of the Mighty Deck, it’s not a patch on the Regina, which should certainly have been made, but I quite like the way it challenges proportions. Overall though it looks rather too much like a MINI concept.

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