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Suzuki looks to the future at Tokyo

New concepts to be unveiled at Japanese motor show

Suzuki will be showing its take on future vehicle technology at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month – and it’s not as far-fetched as you might think.

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Suzuki Swift Plug-in Hybrid

Suzuki will unveil its Swift Plug-in Hybrid at Tokyo

Suzuki Swift Plug-in Hybrid

The key exhibit is the Suzuki Swift Plug-in Hybrid concept. Based on the regular Suzuki Swift supermini, it is powered by a petrol-electric hybrid system.

As the plug-in part of its name suggests, this Swift is recharged by being connected to a domestic power socket. It is designed to run primarily on electricity, and aimed at people who travel around 12 miles a day.

Should the batteries run out before your journey is over, a 660cc petrol engine cuts in as back-up. This unit is similar to existing engines already used in Suzuki’s ‘kei’ cars – these are a diminutive class of Japanese city runabout that conform to strict physical dimensions and engine capacity.

Suzuki has not yet said that it intends to put a Swift hybrid into production, and we suspect the company may not foresee enough sales to make it feasible.

Suzuki SX4 FCV

The Suzuki SX4 fuel cell vehicle runs on hydrogen

Hydrogen-powered Suzuki SX4 FCV

Suzuki has also upgraded one of its SX4 crossovers. The SX4 FCV concept is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell provided by General Motors; this has been connected to one of Suzuki’s own high-pressure hydrogen tanks.

The concept is also fitted with a capacitor that recovers energy that would otherwise be lost under braking. This energy is then recycled to power the car.

The beauty of hydrogen is that it emits nothing but water vapour, however, the technology is very expensive, so it is unlikely to be available on production vehicles any time soon.

That said, the Suzuki SX4 FCV is currently undergoing road trials in Japan. 

Fuel cell scooter

Alongside the cars, Suzuki will also reveal a hydrogen fuel cell powered version of its Burgmann scooter at Tokyo. This incorporates a 70MPa hydrogen tank – the biggest yet seen on any kind of motorbike.


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