Concept points towards Ford S-Max rival
21 October 2009

The Honda Skydeck is a design study for a replacement to the FR-V and showcases the company's future design language.

Like the FR-V, it's a six-seater, but with three rows of two seats rather than two rows of three. They are all hung from the Skydeck's tall central tunnel - a design feature that the car's exterior designer, Shinya Uchiyama, says could make production, despite the problems that would pose in crash tests.

Apart from providing exceptional footroom, the seats require usefully fewer parts and allow the centre row of seats to neatly slide beneath the front pair, easing access to the rear row, an arrangement facilitated by the Skydeck's exceptionally low floor. The rearmost row folds flat conventionally.

See the high-res Honda CR-Z picture gallery

Honda electric concept

Honda CR-Z revealed

Honda is keen to expand its hybrid range into a number of different segments, and that is likely to include people carriers.

“Honda wants to introduce a range of hybrid vehicles that appeal to different markets,” a source told Autocar. “There are currently no plans to put the Skydeck into production, but you can see the way we are going with this.”

One significant feature of the Skydeck is that it relocates the Insight’s hybrid system battery, which normally lies beneath the rear floor to save on passenger space.

The battery is now mounted within the centre console that runs along the cabin floor. It may be a key feature of a next-generation Honda IMA hybrid system designed to power bigger vehicles.

This system is not impossible for a production car, says Skydeck interior designer Yukio Enui, and saves weight and cost as there are fewer parts needed. The tunnel could also house an electricity-generating stack for a fuel cell version of the car.

There’s no word on engines; this concept - unveiled at the Tokyo motor show - is designed to gauge reaction to the styling and three-row seating layout.

For the show MPV, Honda has installed slim, lightweight sports seats with mesh backrests. The second row slides forward and under the front seats to maximise space.

The front doors hinge up and forward, while the rears slide backwards to allow access to the airy cabin. However, these are theatrical and won't make production.

Richard Bremner/Peter Nunn

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Comments
7

30 September 2009

I liked the 3+3 layout of the old FRV. If my 5 Series was worth more than 50pence now it's what I'd swap to. The idea of having both my daughters sitting up front chatting with me, rather than shouting at the back to me, really appeals.

I hope they make the Skydeck with a hybrid system more akin to the Prius than the somewhat half hearted Inisght's drive train. I want quiet and effortless, not slow and wheezy.

30 September 2009

do they not have kerbs in Japan?:

Honda:

did no one think those sliding rear doors would ground on anything more than 1" high kerbs, or worse still crush toes?

Can't we just cut the BS and say that the Japanese are a busted flush in car design and the whole business of car makng generally? News today that Toyota are recalling 3.2 million cars in the US due to throttle pedals gatting caught in carpet, causing in some cases death from crashed vehicles, and some folk burnt to death.

The Japanese were hailed up to the late 80s, early 90s as conquerors of the automotive world. Nearly 20 years later their flagship company is in disgrace, with umpteen safety recalls, particularly in the States, and its once, one and only flair company, Honda, becoming another mere appliance maker that produces revolting shapes, like its attempted X6-aping Accord based Crosstour, when it tries to 'design' cars. Truth is the Japanese were always primarily an industrial thing, like Toyota, with its weaving looms and standardised housing units, rather than true car makers, with founding fathers, like Benz, Ford and Citroen(Honda the only possible exception). As their aim was primarily industrial dominance, through crushing production competence - Toyota's Production System - their place has now been taken over by the Koreans, who are themselves now reaching their high watermark, built on a protected home market(non-tariff barriers), like Japan before them in the 50s, 60s and 70s, and dumping product into Europe and the US at below cost price, to build market share quickly and drive under domestic producers. What the Japs did to the West 30 years ago the Koreans are doing in turn, and they are suffering from that too, and they have no other core competence, beside production competence, to fall back on. The Japs are in queer street.

30 September 2009

[quote rogerthecabinboy]

do they not have kerbs in Japan?:

Honda:

did no one think those sliding rear doors would ground on anything more than 1" high kerbs, or worse still crush toes?

Can't we just cut the BS and say that the Japanese are a busted flush in car design and the whole business of car makng generally? News today that Toyota are recalling 3.2 million cars in the US due to throttle pedals gatting caught in carpet, causing in some cases death from crashed vehicles, and some folk burnt to death.

The Japanese were hailed up to the late 80s, early 90s as conquerors of the automotive world. Nearly 20 years later their flagship company is in disgrace, with umpteen safety recalls, particularly in the States, and its once, one and only flair company, Honda, becoming another mere appliance maker that produces revolting shapes, like its attempted X6-aping Accord based Crosstour, when it tries to 'design' cars. Truth is the Japanese were always primarily an industrial thing, like Toyota, with its weaving looms and standardised housing units, rather than true car makers, with founding fathers, like Benz, Ford and Citroen(Honda the only possible exception). As their aim was primarily industrial dominance, through crushing production competence - Toyota's Production System - their place has now been taken over by the Koreans, who are themselves now reaching their high watermark, built on a protected home market(non-tariff barriers), like Japan before them in the 50s, 60s and 70s, and dumping product into Europe and the US at below cost price, to build market share quickly and drive under domestic producers. What the Japs did to the West 30 years ago the Koreans are doing in turn, and they are suffering from that too, and they have no other core competence, beside production competence, to fall back on. The Japs are in queer street.

[/quote]

1 October 2009

Roger you really have a bone to pick with the Japanese!!!!they have dominated many markets with more reliable and more fuel efficient vehicles than their European rivals and in particular their American counterparts.

21 October 2009

A simple yet stylish vehicle which most definitely deserves a better steering wheel. Front seems to have been inspired by Koala bear's face.

In short, a pleasant looking vehicle without any unnecessarily fussy styling on the body panels.

21 October 2009

I find it interesting that electric propulsion is giving designers new packaging opportunities. It should result in a little more diversity than we are used to. And that is good. Car packaging has become pretty homogenous of late.

21 October 2009

[quote AwakeSpectator]Front seems to have been inspired by Koala bear's face[/quote]

LOL!

For an MPV it looks pretty sleek and I like the rear tail light treatment- not sure about the front and also not so sure about the glass-display-dome effect of the windows, makes the interior look too exposed and on display

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