The 1989 Mitsubishi HSR concept car technology was evident in the car's appearance. A Nazca hummingbird -- as pictured in lines cut into the Peruvian plateaus -- served as the initial abstract image for the HSR's shape.
The lines in that image were supposed to represent the linkage between the vehicle's systems, as they reflected the "speed, grace and mobility of the hummingbird" itself. The curved form was also intended to portray the motion of an ocean wave.
The circular glass bubble-top sat atop a luscious collection of curves and protrusions. Ground-effects-type spoilers, practically running-board size, wrapped almost completely around the vehicle, and were punctuated only by a sizable notch at the front. The rear spoiler appeared to glide right off the deck. Ground clearance was so snug that the body appeared to fall perilously close to dragging on the pavement.
Technology was by no means limited to the car's powertrain and aerodynamic aggressiveness. The Mitsubishi HSR concept car contained a futuristic system for communications and navigation, as well as computerized monitoring of its functions.
A space-age complement of optical gyro fibers, cathode-ray tubes, and other electronic devices let you (and your navigator) pinpoint where you were located on a map, set and follow a desired route, gather traffic information along the way, and communicate with other vehicles or along-the-road stations. Mitsubishi claimed its system came close to what might be found on an aircraft's instrument panel.
The "super-intelligent" overall Operating Control System (OCS) offered assistance and advice related to the actual running, steering, and braking of the Mitsubishi HSR concept car. A "g" sensor and other gadgets sent facts to the multi-purpose central computer. Quickly digesting that information, the microchips spit out instructions or a summary of what was happening at every step of the trip.
Mike Nash, Vice-President of Marketing Services, said the system was designed to assist owners "with average driving skills to both safely and comfortably sustain cruising speeds in a diverse range of driving environments."
But was the average driver really capable of handling such a powerful machine? Mitsubishi thought so, and designed the Mitsubishi HSR concept car with this in mind. Learn more about this on the next page.