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Honda's "PUYO" Concept

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
Honda Puyo Concept - 2007 Tokyo Motor Show

SEE ALSO: VIDEO: Puyo Unveiling at 2007 Tokyo Motor Show"

Washington DC October 26, 2007; The AIADA newsletter reported that when it comes to design, Japanese automakers have long been known for thinking outside the box. So it should surprise no one that at the Tokyo auto show this week, Honda unveiled its Puyo concept car that has no sharp edges and is covered in soft silicone so it can absorb the force of light collisions.

The car — named after a Japanese word that describes a soft, spongy texture — is driven with a joystick, and also glows in different colors, depending on whether it is running or standing still.

"It's definitely 'cute' rather than 'cool,'" a Honda spokeswoman said. More seriously, the Puyo is an environmentally friendly fuel-cell vehicle, creating electricity from hydrogen fuel and oxygen and emitting only water.

But just how much of a collision can the pedestrian-friendly Puyo take before it gets bent out of shape? "We can't talk about the strength of the car," the spokeswoman said. "We're working on that now."