The Unusual Design Features on Mitsubishi's D:X Concept

This week Mitsubishi unveiled their D:X concept, a futuristic EV take on the brand’s classic Delica minivan. Meant to be a rugged off-roader, it’s kind of styled like a chunky hiking boot.

Mitsubishi has never been as mainstream as Honda or Toyota, and the D:X’s designers have come up with some interesting features. For one thing the dashboard does not extend the full width of the vehicle, but only serves as a backstop for the steering wheel. The remaining space below the windshield is taken up by a massive screen linked to the nose camera. This provides a better view for navigating obstacles, and there are AR overlays for guidance and hazard alerts.

Strangely, the A-pillar doesn’t appear to be structural. Instead there are extra-beefy B-, C- and D-pillars, making up what the company calls “a reinforced rib-bone frame;” as you can see in the graphic, the pillars on each side are essentially rings that run around the vehicle laterally.

In this slightly wider shot of the cockpit, check out the B-pillars:

At first I thought those were windows or screens to make that portion of the pillars see-through, but looking more closely at the photo, I believe they’re the rearview mirrors.

This feature had me scratching my head. Here we see the vertical parts of the T-shaped headlights brightly illuminating two strips on the terrain, which are presumably where the tires will tread if the vehicle tracks straight ahead.

I understand that in an off-roading situation, you want to spot any hazards that might puncture a tire; what I can’t figure out is why you’d only illuminate those strips and not the full width of the road ahead.

The rest of the concept is nothing we haven’t seen before: The front seats swivel around for conversation, there’s a panoramic roof, and there are speakers in the seat headrests.

No production plans have been announced.

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