Geneva Bites – Japanese Concepts: The Good

Roving reporter Robertas Parazitas sifts Japanese conceptual wheat from chaff at Geneva.

Image: autovia-media

The Japanese car makers treated us to a veritable host of concept cars. Some were production cars in all but detail, others are pointers to the more distant, but credible future, which probably still includes doorhandles and window frames, and possibly, just possibly sub-20″ diameter wheels.

In the best pre-Boring Boring CAR tradition, I’ve divided them into the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

The Good: Mitsubishi Concept eX.  An electric crossover – what else could it be these days? Strongly suggests that Mitsubishi are finding their way back.

Nissan IDS concept. First seen at Frankfurt, and named in honour of British politician Ian Duncan Smith, who has 12.5% Japanese content. Just how much will make it to the next Leaf? Going by recent experience, more than we might think.

Subaru XV Concept:  Presages the XV replacement – shouldn’t it be the XVI?  A bit tame, but Gulf colours always win me over:

13 thoughts on “Geneva Bites – Japanese Concepts: The Good”

  1. I’ll gladly accept the XV’s tameness, as it seems to be a barely disguised production vehicle. For me it’s another sign after the Levorg that Subaru has finally overcome its design nadir.

    1. There’s more than a hint of current Volvo about it but I don’t mind that personally. The latest Impreza concept isn’t bad either:

    2. Of course when I wrote ‘current Volvo’ I really meant the current V40/V60.

    3. That’s nice as well, although I always preferred the unique hatchback/estate crossover of the early Imprezas.
      Is this a current concept? It seems a bit more remote from a production car than the XV, but much closer than the 2013 WRX Concept from which its shapes are derived:

    4. It’s the concept they presented in late 2015/early 2015, in Tokyo and LA if I remember correctly. I believe it’s actually as close or closer to production as the XV above.

    5. I meant ‘late 2015/early 2016’, obviously.

    1. I quite like the C-shaped rear lamp on the WRX Concept with its receding body-coloured panel in the centre. But when they started with this and added more features, it went wrong. The front lights on the XV are way too fussy (and don’t align well with these strange intrusions in the grille).

  2. Simon: indeed, those tabs on the grille are not good. We are in the Baroque period for cars: designers are trying all the ideas that didn’t look so good earlier. We know the main elements of the car and how they are put together. The best variations have been found. Few good and original “classic” forms remain and so the choice is originality or looking good (in the general sense). Originality trumps good.

  3. From a non-styling expert, the Mitsubishi and Nissan seem to be following the current Japanese fashion of including 20 geegaws per car with the front fascias of Oriental flying dragons Do not care for them at all. Subaru tried to do the same kind of thing, but being Subaru, produced a Subaru. Confession, I own a 2008 Legacy and its styling makes me content – I really like looking at it. Every model since has been dreadful. Every model before it except the late ’90s Impreza was dreadful. It’s what makes a Subaru a Subaru.

    1. That fascinates me. For as long as I have been reading about Subaru the judgement on their appearances has been negative. This is more than a coincidence at this stage: they must actively gauge how “off” to make their cars look. It´s a mystifying strategy. The cars are sturdy and useful and not expensive. If they looked as nice as a good Audi or even a good Opel they´d sell much better.

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