2007 Honda Puyo Concept

October 24, 2007

The name is not quite lost in translation. Honda’s Puyo is an onomatopoeia that the automaker says, “expresses the sensation of touching the vehicle’s soft body.” Don’t worry. We don’t know of any laws you might break by stroking the Puyo’s soft gel body, though we think it may be an odd sight, seeing a horde of journalists fondling one of Tokyo ’s show cars.


Why? Well, the Puyo glows in the dark, perhaps a good thing when it comes to spotting an almost-silent electric vehicle rolling down the road at night.


The “smart” car uses a variety of sensors to connect to both the driver and surrounding pedestrians and, according to Honda CEO Takeo Fukui, Puyo “lights up to signal its position to people around the vehicle.



Underscoring Honda’s theme for the show, “For the endless joy of mobility on our earth,” the green-minded, porpoise-shaped two-door runs on a hydrogen-powered fuel cell. The automaker, explained Fukui , “wants to become a leader in this area.” Though the executive hinted that Puyo’s electric-drive technology is all-new and significantly advanced over previous Honda fuel cell systems, he said we’ll have to wait until the upcoming Los Angeles auto show to get more details.



Once you get beyond the kinky feel of its skin, you’ll notice the Puyo’s Beluga whale-like shape. The two-seater features huge, scissor doors that pivot up, rather than out, apparently a good thing on Tokyo ’s crowded streets. In keeping with that theme, all four of the Puyo’s tiny wheels turn, so the prototype can do a 360-degree turn in place.


The interior features joystick controls, rather than a steering wheel, and “luminous fluid meter displays” mounted on a cloth dash.

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