The small electric vehicle 'Hiriko' was introduced as a major talking point at the Tokyo Motor Show in a previous article, 'The design of the electric vehicle (EV) under development in Kashiwazaki is like a sci-fi anime '.
A mock-up of the Niigata model of the Japanese version of Hiriko, developed by a company in Kashiwazaki, Niigata Prefecture, was unveiled at NEXT21 in Niigata City on (totally unrelated) 22 February, the Cat Day.
Take a quick look! This design looks like something out of an animated world!
The design was created by Kunio Okawara, who designed Mobile Suit Gundam mobile suits. The cute design looks as if it came straight out of the world of anime.
Large windscreen. The image of this place rises up when it is transformed.
As the name 'ultra-compact mobility' suggests, it is quite compact.
Monitor at the rear. They are free to display advertisements, messages to following cars, their own blogs and videos, etc. It is a device that allows cars to communicate with each other.
The Japanese version of Hiriko is developed by Kashiwazaki-based Four Link Systems Co. The project, called the Mirai Project, is supported by Niigata Prefecture and is being developed in collaboration with a variety of media, including animation and games.
Ka, it's cute, isn't it? Of course it's the car, right? By the way, they are both models from Niigata. They are modelling at the Japan Kawaii Expo. They are probably Aimi Abe ( http://kawahaku.jp/cast/14/ ) and Yuri Imaizumi ( http://kawahaku.jp/cast/24/ ). This research ability. I'm afraid of myself...
At 14:00, a talk show was held with Kunio Okawara, who had designed the product.
The panellists were Kunio Okawara (right), mechanical designer, and Yutaka Wada (left), former vehicle designer for Isuzu Motors Limited and currently president of Nagaoka Institute of Design.
The talk ranged from automobile design to the secret story of the design of the Gundam. When designing the Hiriko, he first thought of a design that would be easy to make, but was told by the president (of Four Link Systems) that he wanted it to look more like a robot, which led to the current design.
Mr Okawara has worked on various robot designs, including Gundam. He used many car designs as references. His dialogue with Mr Wada, who had designed the car, was a true example of future design.
With the development of ultra-compact mobility, cars will move from the era of buying them as they are provided by the manufacturer to customising them in one's own way and enjoying them as a hobby. The meaning of a beloved car will change dramatically. It is going to be a very exciting time in the future, when mecha that have appeared in cartoons may be realised as real-life products.
Mr Okawara's statement that he wanted Hiriko to appear in Side 7 (the setting of the first Gundam episode) left a great impression on me.
The talk show will be videoed on the internet at a later date. If you missed it, please check it out.
Sold afterwards. They can be fitted with manipulators (arms) as an option. The car will have arms. I'm really looking forward to the launch.
This 'Mirai Project' is also supported by Niigata Prefecture. We will keep an eye on it in the future!