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Thursday, October 26, 2023

Nissan And Subaru's Japan Mobility Show Concepts Have Me Worried

Concept cars are basically manifestations of what an automaker’s direction is be it in design or technology. That’s why these two concept cars from Nissan and Subaru has got me worrying just a little bit.

First up, let’s talk about the Nissan Hyper Force—the last of Nissan’s five “hyper” concept vehicles. To recall, Nissan unveiled one EV concept each week leading to the inaugural Japan Mobility Show. Unfortunately, none have really captured my imagination. Nissan should have concentrated all their efforts on creating just one awesome concept.

Anyway, the Nissan Hyper Force is “designed for racing enthusiasts and gamers who crave the adrenaline rush of the racetrack but are also eco-conscious.” That description is cringy. It’s like your middle-aged uncle trying to feel cool with the TikTok kids.

Nissan refuses to call the Hyper Force the next GT-R, but the trademark cues are there from the massive rear haunches to the four round taillights. It even comes with two unsubtle drive modes—R (Racing) and GT (Grand Touring). Heck, the light-up badge in front reads GT-R if you squint hard enough. Inside, the infotainment graphics even come from the folks who did Gran Turismo, Polyphony Digital.

Despite it looking like a George Clooney Batmobile reject, the Hyper Force does pack what’s considered the “Holy Grail” of EVs: a solid-state battery. This is hooked up to a 1,360-horsepower electric powertrain and the brand’s 4ORCE all-wheel drive system.

Over to the Subaru booth, the all-wheel drive specialist showed off two future mobility concepts—the Subaru Air Mobility Concept and the Subaru Sport Mobility Concept. The first is basically a flying car with the C-shaped headlights, so we’re not even going to waste any editorial space on that. Let’s dive straight to the second one instead.

The Subaru Sport Mobility Concept is a design study that “expresses the enjoyment that Subaru offers in the age of electrification.” Honestly, this got me worried as the concept looks rather bland and uninspired. But yes, if you squint hard enough, it has some hints of SVX in there.

Worst still, it looks like Subaru’s really embrace all these crossover styling (as seen in the aggressive fender addendums) despite the Sport Mobility Concept not exactly having a high ground clearance. Oh, and yeah, it also has a two-door body style (eye roll).

Remove all the carbon fiber bits though and the Subaru Sport Mobility Concept does have some nice bits that, hopefully, make it to production models. These include the slim headlights and the auxiliary lights which hark back to the brand’s iconic rally cars.

While someone on Subaru’s design team seems to have the early 1990s in mind, unfortunately (or fortunately), the changes of this making it to production are low. Regardless, at least Subaru is thinking of electric performance cars, so at least that’s something. But if this previews the rumored electrified STI, that is something to be concerned about.


  1. That's why it's concept car, a sketchy representation of creative thinking. it won't reach production line, so nothing to worry

    1. The issue is if these concepts are uninspired, there's high odds that the production models will be even more so.

  2. The interior of the Subaru Sport Mobility Concept looks exactly like a Subaru Solterra. Could it be built in partnership with Toyota?


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