When speculating on Suzuki's future direction within today's chaotic, industry-wide scramble toward new energy technologies, it's interesting to note that although the company introduced a single new Plug In Hybrid concept car at the recent Tokyo Motor Show, it actually introduced three fuel-cell powered electrics, all of which are currently in the testing stage.
Admittedly two of them are not cars, but the hydrogen fuel-cell Burgman scooter and Mio Electric wheelchair are both impressive in their practical, seemingly production-ready use of the technology and because numerous examples are on roads (or sidewalks) in Japan actually undergoing pre-production testing.
At least as impressive is the new S4-FCV hydrogen fuel-cell car, which uses the Suzuki s-4 hatchback as a jumping-off point to create something much closer to being road-ready than most of the fuel-cell concept vehicles we've seen over the last decade or more. And yes, test cars are apparently on the road in Japan.
The S4-FCV utilizes a GM high-performance hydrogen fuel-cell connected to a Suzuki developed storage tank and supplemented by a proprietory lightweight-capacitor which absorbs energy from regenerative braking and feeds it back to the motors during acceleration, easing the load on the fuel cell.
Like all hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, the only exhaust this one produces is water vapor, while top speed is reported as 90 mph and range per tank is said to be about 150 miles.
No information is currently available concerning possible production and/or availability, but the S4-FCV certainly looks like something that is developmentally a lot farther along than most Fuel-cell concept cars. It almost appears that while the company may be hedging it's bets with a little hybrid technology here and there, Suzuki is really trying to position itself toward the front of the fuel-cell pack.