Apocalypse With a Plug: Suzuki e-Survivor Unveiled in Tokyo

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While in the midst of developing the next Jimny, a model you might remember better as the Samurai, Suzuki also made an effort to set up a secondary compact off-roader at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show. Less grounded than the fourth-generation Jimny, the e-Survivor concept looks like a mashup between Jeep’s Wrangler and the lunar rover NASA took to the moon.

The name suggests something serious but the design speaks directly to weekend rock crawlers and fun-loving dune buggy enthusiasts. It certainly looks capable of both activities. The open-topped two-seater uses a lightweight ladder frame, all-wheel drive, and has enough ground clearance to be a scrappy little off-roader. However, as an electric, its value as a legitimate “survival vehicle” is dubious — unless you’re willing to swap gas canisters for solar panels in your post-apocalyptic scenario. 

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We’re of the mind that Suzuki wasn’t really expecting the e-Survivor to be the Swiss Army knife of automobiles. It probably just needed a standout name and didn’t want to call it the “Good Time 4×4 EV.”

Details on the concept vehicle are limited. We know it has four electric motors, integrated in each wheel, but not much else. When asked, the company said it has no plans to pursue production right now but wasn’t ruling anything out for the distant future either — not that it matters. Suzuki stopped selling cars in North America in 2014 and doesn’t look poised for a comeback any time soon.

Interestingly, this was one of the few concept cars in recent memory that didn’t promise some level of autonomy. While the manufacturer could certainly tack on whatever theoretical features it wants, especially since this is an entirely hypothetical model, the absence of self-driving tech is a curious one. Perhaps Suzuki doesn’t think people will want a car that does their off-roading for them.

[Images: Suzuki]