Suzuki Crosshiker Concept: design story

Concept Cars 3 Apr 2014
Suzuki Crosshiker Concept: design story

An exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the Suzuki Crosshiker concept, the lightweight compact crossover that combines a dynamic, emotional design with fuel-efficient technologies.


Presented on last November at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, the Suzuki Crosshiker builds was conceived as an alternative version of the REGINA, the concept car packed with lightweight and fuel-efficient technologies that was exhibited at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show.

Suzuki Crosshiker Concept - Final Design Sketch-Rendering-01

Based on an evolution of the REGINA’s next-generation lightweight platform, the Crosshiker is powered by a newly developed 1L 3-cylinder engine and combines the size of a compact car – the total length is 3,650mm – with a total weight of just 810kg, comparable to the mass of a minicar.

Suzuki Crosshiker Concept

Evolving the REGINA’s basic idea, the Crosshiker adopts a crossover layout and a more exciting styling, targeted to adults – mainly female customers – with a playful mind.

Suzuki Regina and Crosshiker Concept Cars

The exterior design expresses dynamism thanks to the peculiar proportions defined by the combination of a wide body (total width of 1695mm) and the compact glass cabin.

Suzuki Crosshiker Concept - Final Design Sketch-Rendering-03

The surface treatment makes use of organic and expressive shapes with curved surfaces defined and sculpted by flowing, creased lines.

Suzuki Crosshiker Concept - Design Sketch by Katsuya Kotoda Suzuki Crosshiker Concept - Design Sketch by Katsuya Kotoda

The overall look, inspired by the “Avant-garde crossover” concept, is aimed at evoking emotions and expressing the image of image of a “personal crossover for adults”.

Suzuki Crosshiker - Final Interior Design Sketch

The interior design expresses a sporty and modern mood and features a construction made of multiple layers that wrap the driver and passengers like within a shell.

Suzuki Crosshiker Concept Interior Suzuki Crosshiker Concept Interior

 

The display in the front of the driver features a “particle interface”: a concept of next-generation controller that provdes an interface for controlling many cloud applications using voice commands.

Suzuki Crosshiker Concept Interior Suzuki Crosshiker Concept Interior

Below we report an exclusive design story of the concept. Also check the full gallery of 100+ images, with sketches and photos from the development process.

Exterior Design

“We started the exterior sketch in early 2013, and made its final decision in four weeks after we started the project.

Suzuki Crosshiker Concept - Design Sketches by Katsuya Kotoda

“We made its styling to have a strong uplifting taste which befits its concept “crossover for female adults who are keeping a playful mind”.

Suzuki Crosshiker Concept - Design Sketches by Katsuya Kotoda

“Its goal is to make it into a design which matches a sophisticated adult from its mood created by the artistic styling and quality, all while being a small car.

“When drawing lines within the limited space,  it is possible to have bigger surface area with longer line segment. So there are efforts in various areas to make it look bigger than its actual size by strengthening the movement of plan curve.

“Although category, size, and proportion largely differ, the Crosshiker inherits various factors of the REGINA by understanding its design composition (such as resin parts in the lower body and a key line that’s not wedged).”

Exterior Design Process

Suzuki Crosshiker Concept - Final Design Sketch-Rendering-02

Upon deciding its final sketch, seven exterior designers came up with a total of 13 sketches. Rejected sketches included more sporty design, ATV-look design, and a cabriolet variant.

In deciding the final design direction the team took into consideration how the concept car would connect to the original REGINA concept, especially in the surface treatment.

Suzuki Crosshiker - Clay Scale Model Suzuki Crosshiker - Clay Scale Model

“Soon after the exterior sketch was decided, 1/4 clay modeling started, and a month later, we moved on to full scale modeling.”

“The rich surface expression made by the distinct craftwork of modelers is the core of this model.”

Suzuki Crosshiker - Clay Scale Model Suzuki Crosshiker - Clay Scale Model

“The main graphic lines were freezed at the end of full scale modeling. Only one full scale model was built, based on the selected final sketch.”

Suzuki Crosshiker Concept - Fullsize Clay Model Suzuki Crosshiker Concept - Fullsize Clay Model

“Changes were made while making 1/4 and full scale clay modeling. There were no major changes made during the build phase, so it was right on schedule.”

Suzuki Crosshiker Concept - Fullsize Clay Model Suzuki Crosshiker Concept - Fullsize Clay Model

Exterior Design Process Steps

  • 1. Sketch 4 Weeks
  • 2. 1/4 Scale Clay Modeling 1 Month
  • 3. Full Scale Clay Modeling 1 Month
  • 4. We made FRP body shell and door panels from the clay model
  • 5. Simultaneously, we scanned the clay model to make a 3D data of the model including its detail parts for chassis engineering, making of detail parts, and making of promotion video.
  • 6. Data of front grille, headlights, rear combination lights, and wheels were made by digital modeling based on the sketch.

Suzuki Crosshiker Concept Prototype - FRP Body Suzuki Crosshiker Concept Prototype - FRP Moulds

Suzuki Crosshiker Concept Prototype Suzuki Crosshiker Concept Prototype

Interior Design

“Like the exterior design, it took four weeks to decide its final sketch. We made sketches based on keywords such as “avant-garde” and “artistic”, and expanded the design through expressing outside the box.

Suzuki Crosshiker - Interior Design Sketch Suzuki Crosshiker - Interior Design Sketch

“We were not inspired from car designs but from architecture, modern art, culture art, etc. The reason for the final decision is because of how it matches the exterior, and the keyword expression were valued.

Suzuki Crosshiker - Interior Design Sketch

“Soon after the final decision, we made a rough CAD model and moved on to full scale modeling.

“We reflected new ideas and design expressions during the clay modeling phase whenever we found them.

Suzuki Crosshiker - Final Interior Design Sketch - Seats Suzuki Crosshiker - Final Interior Design Sketch - Seats

“Thanks to the excellent modelers and engineers, we were able to make it without any major changes.

Suzuki Crosshiker Concept - Interior Clay Model Construction Process

“Simultaneously, we also designed the interface. The theme of the interface is expressed by using “space” to resemble the modern situation surrounded by “mass information” and “mass application”.

“The “particle” of the “particle interface”, which was offered at the show means “mass information and application”, which figuratively expresses “space”.

“The interface design did not have any concept of “page” from the process phase to consciously express “zero gravity” space.”

Interior Design Process Steps

Suzuki Crosshiker Concept Prototype Interior - Design Process Suzuki Crosshiker Concept Prototype Interior - Design Process

  • 1. Sketch
  • 2. Digital Modeling  (Rough CAD)
  • 3. Full Scale Clay Modeling
  • 4. We made major parts of the interior in FRP from the clay model.
  • 5. Detail designs were made by digital modeling.
  • 6. Simultaneously, we designed the interface contents.

Suzuki Crosshiker Concept Suzuki Crosshiker Concept at the Osaka Motor Show

Suzuki Crosshiker dimensions

  • Height: 1540mm
  • Width: 1695mm
  • Length: 3650mm
  • Wheel-base: 2425mm
  • Weight: 810kg

Suzuki Crosshiker Concept designers Katsuya Kotoda, Syunya Sakurai, Akane Masuda

The Design Team

  • Exterior designer: Katsuya Kotoda
  • Interior designer: Syunya Sakurai
  • Interior Seat designer: Mami Miyata
  • Color Designer: Akane Masuda

(Image Courtesy: Suzuki for Car Body Design)

Image Gallery

Suzuki Crosshiker Concept: design story - Image 37
Suzuki Crosshiker Concept: design story - Image 35
Suzuki Crosshiker Concept: design story - Image 68
Suzuki Crosshiker Concept: design story - Image 96
Suzuki Crosshiker Concept: design story - Image 74
Suzuki Crosshiker Concept: design story - Image 81
Suzuki Crosshiker Concept: design story - Image 82
Suzuki Crosshiker Concept: design story - Image 106
Suzuki Crosshiker Concept: design story - Image 1

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