Automakers like Suzuki already have us anticipating a Tokyo Motor Show full of wonderfully weird and eccentric little concept cars. But one of the show’s weirdest will come from a less familiar industry player. Rubber, plastics and LED specialist Toyoda Gosei will show the Flesby II, a turtle-like concept that uses a creative exterior shell to protect pedestrians, communicate with other road users and change shapes.
The new Flesby II is a follow-up to the original Flesby concept car, which Toyoda Gosei showed at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show. That car provided pedestrian protection in the form of an inflatable exterior built to absorb impacts.
The Flesby II has much the same inspiration as the original, but it’s been restyled (if you can call multiple blobs slapped together styling) and has a bit more going on. The Flesby II absorbs impacts with its soft exterior and uses “e-rubber” to change shapes. Toyoda Gosei doesn’t explain exactly how it imagines that shape-shifting working on the car, freeing us to imagine the bulbous, little commuter rapidly morphing into a sleeker, tauter sports car the minute the speedometer fires above 40 mph (64 km/h) or so.