The Honda Puyo fuel cell concept car is being unveiled at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show. The term “Puyo” Honda says is a Japanese onomatopoeia that describes what one feels when touching the car’s soft body and is a description for floating objects. For those who are not English literature majors and don’t know what an onomatopoeia is, it is a word that imitates a sound, such as quack, vroom or in the case of Mazda, zoom zoom.
The Honda Puyo is supposed to be a happy little device like an iPod iDog that is to give people a warm and friendly feeling. The idea behind the Honda Puyo is to have a personable design that also yields maximum space to passengers in its box-like interior. Honda says the Puyo uses “gel body” that promotes safety, presumably to pedestrians though it is unclear who the walking crash test dummies were who volunteered for this experiment. Whatever the silicone body bumps into, it must be a cushier blow that from a car made of steel and aluminum.
The Honda Puyo body is luminescent, which helps drivers achieve the correct operating position. The luminescent body also informs the drivers about the operating condition of the vehicle. If the Honda Puyo is happy and fully operational, for instance, it may glow green to convey this message to passengers and driver, which is poetically apropos for such a green vehicle. This may also help other drivers to avoid crashing into the Honda Puyo at night.
The interior of the Honda Puyo has a silky feel and a joystick (that replaces the steering wheel). The sensual nature of this hydrogen fuel cell car also comes with a sense of transparency from its panoramic windows and intuitive operation. One of the coolest features of the Honda Puyo, however, is that the cabin rotates 360-degrees so the car doesn’t have to go in reverse.
The soft cloth dashboard also rises up to greet the passengers when the car is started. The Honda Puyo also has an instrument panel monitor and luminous fluid meters. Even though the Honda Puyo is a fun little oddity that will most likely never see the light of a showroom floor, it also shows the company’s outside-the-box thinking for this boxy little car. Booya to Puyo for its creative quirkiness!