Tokyo Motor Show 1989 was rich in novelties: Honda NSX, Suzuki Cappuccino, Subaru Alcyone SVX… However, two other cars were called showstoppers by visitors, if the Chicago Tribune is to be believed. The paper for November 19, 1989 wrote the following: “the most interesting, in terms of design, of the show cars were the Nissan Neo-X and the Mitsubishi HSR-II, prototypes that give an idea of what twenty-first century cars will look like.”
But let’s leave the Mitsubishi concept until a more suitable occasion and have a look at the Nissan Neo-X, a conceptual sedan of an executive class, which design is made in neoclassical style. Simple lines, short overhang at the front and big one at the back, a volume roof dome that smoothly slopes down to the stern. The length of the car is 4980 mm, width – 1870 mm, height – 1350 mm.
As is fitting for a big limousine, the car is equipped with a big engine. In the case of Neo-X, it was a 4.5-liter V8 rated at 270 hp. Estimated maximum speed – 250 km/h, but here the dynamic characteristics, like acceleration time up to 100 km/h, were not announced even in theory. However, here everything was at a level – Neo-X received all-wheel drive.
Moreover, the car had fully steerable chassis (like Nissan Skyline GT-R). Certainly, the futuristic flagship sedan does not have a manual gearbox (a five-speed automatic is installed here). And what such car, in opinion of engineers of Nissan, precisely required is the powerful computer which traces work of all systems of the car: an engine, transmission, pneumatic suspension, steering and brakes.
Based on the data received, the Neo-X computer adjusted the electronic systems in real time to drive as efficiently and comfortably as possible. But that wasn’t all of the car’s electronics. Infrared cameras were integrated into the front bumper of the car, which tracked the distance to the cars in front. If the distance was too short, an alarm was triggered. Ring any bells?
The Neo-X also had a projection display, a holographic instrument panel, and a touch-screen center display (with a cathode ray tube!) – all very reminiscent of a modern Tesla. The central screen could display climate control settings, the navigator, as well as the picture from the night vision camera.
Four bucket seats were responsible for passenger comfort, which had a function of automatic side roll inflation (hello, Mercedes!). And also here were used “smart glasses” – almost like in Maybach: at the touch of a button light transmission of side windows was reduced, replacing the traditional toning or curtains.
The Neo-X concept was not prepared for production, but many of the solutions used in it can be found in more modern Nissan models – for example, in the Primera, which was also equipped with a central screen with extensive functions. It was a very interesting concept, which deservedly received praise from visitors to the 1989 Tokyo Motor Show and most of the world’s media.