Scrolling Headlines:

Luwane Pipkins leads the UMass men’s basketball shooting show in 101-76 win over Niagara -

November 19, 2017

UMass to face tough test with Niagara backcourt -

November 19, 2017

Hockey Notebook: John Leonard on an early season tear for UMass hockey -

November 18, 2017

Clock runs out on UMass men’s soccer’s dream season in NCAA opener -

November 17, 2017

2017 Basketball Special Issue -

November 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball prepares for transitional season in 2017-18 -

November 16, 2017

Author Viet Thanh Nguyen discusses how history and humanity is remembered -

November 16, 2017

CMASS completes seven-week discussion series -

November 16, 2017

UMass women’s basketball resets and reloads, looking to improve on last year’s record with plenty of new talent -

November 16, 2017

Matt McCall’s winding path to bring unity to UMass -

November 16, 2017

Carl Pierre is a piece to Matt McCall’s basketball program -

November 16, 2017

Why they stayed: Malik Hines, Chris Baldwin and C.J. Anderson -

November 16, 2017

McConnell chooses politics over morals -

November 16, 2017

Swipe right for love? Probably not. -

November 16, 2017

‘The Florida Project’ is a monument to the other side of paradise -

November 16, 2017

‘Thor: Ragnarok’ doesn’t have to be the best Marvel movie -

November 16, 2017

Thursday’s NCAA tournament rematch between UMass men’s soccer and Colgate will be a battle of adjustments -

November 15, 2017

Veteran belonging and the decline of American communities discussed by journalist and author at Amherst College -

November 15, 2017

‘UMass Cares About Cancer’ Hosts Blanket Making Event -

November 15, 2017

UMass women’s basketball heads to North Dakota for two games -

November 15, 2017

A glimpse into the future from the 2017 Tokyo Auto Show

Courtesy of Suzuki Automobile Global official Facebook page

The Tokyo Auto Show never fails to showcase the automotive future as perceived by the Japanese automakers; 2017 was no different. Is the future of the horseless carriage looking grim as autonomous technology marches closer to mainstream production—or is there still hope for the enthusiast who would rather not be constrained to a soul-less, self-driving pod?

After perusing this year’s debuts, it’s clear that yes, there is still hope. A number of brands previewed some incredible concepts, some of which seem ready to hit showrooms tomorrow, and others are clearly pipedreams for their creators. The subsequent three concepts are evidence that the automobile can still be the dream machine it has always been.

Mazda Vision Coupe

One of the show’s standouts that affirms this hails from the House of Zoom-Zoom. The Mazda Vision Coupe is, simply put, breathtakingly gorgeous. In a world of overbearing, origami-like designs, the Vision Coupe shines with its tasteful minimalistic style. The car is luxurious, yet stays true to classic Mazda.  In profile, the impossibly long hood and fastback roofline give it more than a passing resemblance to the Aston Martin Rapide, but that’s no insult. Whether or not this makes it to showrooms is anyone’s guess, but it’s safe to say that the direction Mazda is heading has promise.

Suzuki e-Survivor

With light-up wheels, a backlit grill and an interior choc-full of screens, the Suzuki e-Survivor is another Tokyo debut that gets the blood pumping. This rugged concept gives a glimpse into what the future might hold for off-roaders, a segment distinctively positioned between technology and tradition. The e-Survivor is powered by 4 electric motors, one positioned at each wheel. Inside, the traditional setup (pedals, steering wheel, gear selector) hint at no self-driving capabilities. Otherwise, a “Star Wars” vibe abounds, with one screen integrated into the steering wheel, another stretching the length of the dash, and a 3D-sphere projected from the console. A unique marriage of new and old-school, the e-Survivor reassures that off-road shenanigans don’t have to be a thing of the past in the self-driving future.

Honda Sports EV

Over at the Honda booth, the Honda Sports EV concept looks to marry electric vehicle (EV) technology with style and panache—something few automakers have been able to do successfully. Thanks to the low beltline and a RWD-like dash-to-axle ratio, this little two-door has wisps of the old MGB/GT and other long-hood/short-deck hatchbacks of the late 1960s. The fender tops rise above the hood, contributing to the low, sporty feel of the car. Other than revealing that it is electric and has integrated AI (artificial intelligence), Honda has been quiet on specifics. Regardless, this spunky little concept illustrates an important point—Evs don’t have to be boring.

Technology is moving faster than ever before, and the 2017 Tokyo Auto Show only highlighted this truth. The event showcased that the future of automobiles is not so bleak for those who want to stave off self-driving cars and continue to enjoy their dream-drives. These three concepts from Mazda, Suzuki and Honda all marry the future with style and performance, and all look to be attainable by Joe Everyman. Reasonable, stylish and fun—maybe the future won’t be so bad after all.

Anthony Sophinos can be reached at asophinos@umass.edu.

 

Leave A Comment