History has produced some wonderful concept cars that became significant production models. It has also produced many that were somewhat less than well received. Japan in particular, has an automotive culture which takes significant chances with its concept vehicles, and is often prepared to go well beyond the traditional to explore new niche markets. One such long shot was the Fuya Jo from Honda – the vehicle whose name means "Sleepless City", was designed specifically to transport “party animals who demand the full excitement of night life.”
Shown at the 1999 Tokyo Show and seen at major auto shows as recently as 2002, Honda clearly had the ecstacy generation in mind with this vehicle designed to allow the occupants to satnd and dance their way from venue to venue. The interior has a distinct dance club theme, witht eh dashboard designed to resemble a DJ’s mixing desk (circa 1998) and the steering wheel shaped accordingly as a turntable. The “Blade Runner” exterior was resultant from the no-compromise flat floor and standing occupants and was termed by Honda PR at the time to be a "short yet tall 4-seater that induces the same kind of experience as riding skateboards or roller blades, or dancing in clubs.”
Not surprisingly, the sound system incorporated into the Fuya Jo was powerful and the car was designed to test the youth market’s ideas on what they wanted from the automotive industry. Though many car magazines saw the vehicle as weird, we think it was a brave attempt and one worth persevering with - the fact that automotive journalists thought it was weird adds further weight to Gizmag's theory that the vast majority of automotive journalists stay in the cushy junket-filled role long past their use-by date and prevent fresh thought and new eyes entering the field.
Thge Fuya Jo is not all that far removed from some subsequent offerings from Toyota and Scion, aimed at the same audience but with more of a "mobile sound studio" design theme.