Mitsubishi has long since fallen off our radar among the most noteworthy Japanese automakers. But with Nissan’s patronage, it’s bound for resurgence. And the turnaround couldn’t come on a more auspicious occasion.
While the parent company has been around a lot longer, the unit known today as Mitsubishi Motors (founded as the Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Company) will mark its 100th anniversary this year. So to mark the occasion, designer Gabor Farkas has cooked up this rather slick design.
Called the Hyaku concept (from the Japanese for “100”), the design study envisions a futuristic, self-driving electric coupe. Farkas has adopted the traditional Japanese aesthetic approach of “Shibui,” with clean, minimalistic lines unadorned by any extraneous elements. So while the LED strips and chrome details suggest Mitsubishi’s signature grille design, it doesn’t actually need one.
The pillarless windows open unobstructedly, the sensors are hidden, and there’s no extra aero appendages tacked on like you might find on, say, a Lancer Evo – which is likely to remain our favorite of Mitsubishi’s products for the foreseeable future.
The design also takes advantage of its compact electric powertrain components to allow for ample luggage space under the front hood while giving the vehicle a dynamic silhouette reminiscent of a classic grand tourer – or, in the designer’s words, a high-speed Shinkansen train.
All this in a form closer in size to a Nissan GT-R than a 370Z, for comparison’s sake. And who knows, with the expertise of the Renault-Nissan Alliance in electric vehicles to bring to bear, it may not be that far off.