A company that is mostly known in Europe for the rather staid Swift and the tiny (and shortly to be updated) Jeep-styled Jimny mini-SUV, Suzuki revealed a rather different and much quirkier side in Tokyo.
While there was no shortage of the cute, cubic 660cc Kei cars, vans and MPVs on their stand, there was also the characterful and cuddly X-Bee, which comes in a myriad of different colour schemes and trim styles but is so far on sale in Asia alone. “We produced the Hustler [a groovy retro-styled Kei hatch] a couple of years ago,” explained Akira Kamio, head of the brand’s styling and design department, “then decided to expand the idea to a one-litre car.”
The X-Bee, which features a slightly Citroën-like bodyside moulding that comes in every finish including, yes, fake wood, has been used as a platform to do some mild customisation, from chunky tyres and faux-off-road outdoorsy stylings to retro chic and even a semi-sporty performance look. It’s a neat little thing, though, with a wide-eyed friendliness that might make it a good choice to spearhead an overseas offensive.
Meanwhile, the show concept car was a rather amusing post-apocalyptic off-road study (launched complete with a steampunk-goggled, combat-booted, hot-pant-wearing Japanese model, of course) based loosely on the upcoming Jimny’s signature details, but adding a massive dose of Mad Max/Tank Girl/anime oddness. Very silly, Suzuki.