Suzuki Q-Concept, Regina and Swift EV Hybrid unveiled ahead of 2011 Tokyo Motor Show

Article by Christian A., on November 9, 2011

Suzuki Motor Corp. wants to demonstrate its "unparalleled expertise" in small cars at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show by unveiling two new tiny concept cars by holding the global debut of a Swift electric vehicle with a range-extending engine such as that of the Chevrolet Volt. The Swift EV Hybrid concept is based on the Japan-built Swift small car that was supposed to be offered in the U.S.

This plan was put on hold due to the strengthening yen that hurts its profitability. This car operates as an electric vehicle during daily commutes that go as far as 11.2 miles.

A gasoline-powered engine generator kicks in to recharge it when the battery wears down. The Swift EV Hybrid comes after the Swift Plug-in Hybrid concept that was introduced in 2009. It comes as Suzuki is looking for a market entry with an electrified drivetrain. Suzuki had wanted to ask for Volkswagen AG’s help with hybrids.

But then, this partnership is in jeopardy as Suzuki is seeking to terminate their relationship. If they do actually break up, Suzuki would be the lone major automaker in Japan that doesn’t have firm plans to launch either a hybrid or an electric vehicle. Suzuki is also aiming to debut two minicars to emphasize its dream of "small cars for a big future."

The first epitomizes its concept for the global small car for the next generation. This model is named the Regina. It only weighs around 1,609 pounds and Japanese testing cycles have shown that it could achieve 75 mpg.

The Q-concept, a bubble-shaped two-seater, is the other model. Suzuki asserts that this vehicle is slotted between a motorcycle and an automobile. It is aimed at short urban commutes.

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