Suzuki may not sell cars in America anymore, but that’s allowed them to avoid certain death long enough to continue making inspirational vehicles for the rest of the world. The latest is the new Suzuki Misano concept that’s inspired by motorcycles, as all cars ought to be.
Motorcycles offer arguably the purest characterization of motorized engineering. Your body is exposed to the elements to translate just how violent your unnatural speed truly is. You can hear not just the motor beneath you, but your fuel sloshing around with your guts, your tires shredding against the road, and the invigorating “whoop” “whoop” “whoop” of passing by objects faster than you can recognize through your visor.
If designers approach a car desiring a similar thrilling experience, it can only result in an efficient, powerful, tactile, lightweight affair, which sounds like the formula every good sports car ever made. That’s what Suzuki tried to do with the new Misano concept car.
The Suzuki Misano is a student thesis project from 24 prodigies at Istituto Europeo di Design Torino from India, Belgium, Turkey, Lebabon, Spain, France and Italy, according to Suzuki’s press release (via Autoblog).
The program collaborated with the automaker and sponsor Pirelli to “merge the adrenaline rush on two wheels with the driving experience on four.” The brief was “La Dolce Vita X Way of Life,” according to the press release.
It’s a two-seater open-top roadster layout measuring only about 39 inches at its highest point off the ground, stretching out long and low at about 157 inches long and 69 inches wide.
The fun twist with the car is its tandem seating shifted to the left side of the car, with the passenger located behind the driver like, well, a motorcycle. Or one of those ride-along Formula One cars. The doors feature wide openings so the passengers can see the road, and the steering is done with an interesting “control stick.”
Since this is the result of a student design project, powertrain details aren’t exactly the focus. While one would hope there’d be a screaming Hayabusa motorcycle engine located somewhere in all of that sheetmetal, the vehicle instead appears to feature a battery pack alongside the trunk space located next to the occupants. The Misano name is likely inspired from Suzuki’s MotoGP racing legacy at Misano World Circuit.
I love tandem driving, I love motorcycles, and I really love strange steering mechanisms, so I’d love to have a chance to drive something like this. I just really, really wish it came with a motorcycle engine; that seemed like the obvious thing to do. If you’re in Europe and it’s not currently lockdown somehow, the concept will be shown at Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile di Torino from May 15 to June 6.